For our Autumn cheese tasting, we had a scrumptious delivery from The Fine Cheese Company. Stacey selected Tomme de Savoie, Sainte Maure De Touraine, Le Tru du Cru, Comté Select Reserve, Picón Bejes-Tresviso and Langres.
First, we tasted Sainte Maure de Touraine, from the Loire valley area of France. It is a goats cheese wrapped in ash, which gives it the grey colour on the outside and is used to protect it when its ripened. The traditional ones have a piece of straw in the middle to hold it together. This was the collective favourite of the group.
Next, we moved on to Langres which is a cow’s milk cheese made in the Champagne area of France. They always have a little dip in the top because they’re only turned twice and the whey draining out leaves the little hollow in the middle. Sometimes you can pour a little alcohol like a Marc de Bourgogne or Champagne in the hole to give it a little zing. It’s a washed cheese which is why it’s got that orange brevibacterium rind coming through. It should be nice and soft in the middle and really creamy.
After that we went on to taste Tomme de Savoie. It is a semi hard cheese from the mountainous area in France. In the summer they would be making Beaufort but this they make in the winter. It is matured with a natural rind, the moulds in the caves it is matured in are what makes the rind on this and it should be quite earthy in flavour.
Comté was up next, and we tasted a Marcel Petite Comté Select Reserve matured for 24 months. Comté is made in France on the border with Switzerland, up in the Alpes. Its probably the most eaten cheese in France, equivalent to the British eating Cheddar. This particular Comté is matured by a company called Marcel Petite, who are really fantastic affineurs. They take the cheese from the cheesemakers up in the Alps and mature it in their caves.
Next, we tasted Picón Bejes-Tresviso, a blue cheese that is made in the mountains of Cantabria. It is made from a blend of cow, sheep and goat’s milk. It is matured in the limestone caves of the area and the flavours are often boozy like fermented apples.
Finally we tried Le Trou du Cru, another French cheese which is produced in the Burgundy area of France. It is also washed in Marc de Bourgogne, and is similar to the famous Époisses.
This selection of European cheeses went down a treat with the collective favourite being Sainte Maure De Touraine. If you’d like to taste them, you can order them now from The Fine Cheese Company.Be sure to let us know what you think of them all if you do!