Epoisses Cheese

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Made from pasteurized and unpasteurized cow's milk, this variety of cheese originates from the Burgundy region of France where the town of Epoisses is located. The pasteurized variety is allowed to be shipped into the U.S. The authentic variety is commonly referred to as Epoisses de Bourgogne to denote it is an Epoisses cheese from Burgundy. However, this cheese has numerous imposters so be careful when selecting Epoisses Cheese. The most enjoyable and authentic versions of this cheese are labeled as Epoisses - Berthaut in reference to the French cheesemaker Robert Berthaut. It may also be found in a variety with all the same characteristics labeled as Ami du Chambertin, which is not made in the Epoisses but in the town of Brochon, adjacent to the area.

Often made as a farmhouse cheese in small round disks, the Epoisses Cheese is packaged in a small round wooden container after being aged for approximately 2 months. Once removed from the container, the Epoisses displays a soft, moist, tan to dark reddish brown rind that covers a soft-textured paste. When eaten, this cheese provides a deep meaty, but rich and creamy taste that becomes an excellent choice to be served as an after dinner cheese. Blonde to ivory in color, the paste will be creamy in texture and may range from very soft to almost sticky, depending on maturity which could be from 30 to 40 days. As the cheese ages, the paste becomes spicy or tangy in flavor. With a noticable aroma, the Epoisses Cheese provides an earthy odor that has a slightly pungent overtone. If it is too pungent, it is a good indicator that the cheese has matured past its prime. Epoisses is a good cheese to serve with robust red wines, spicy white wines, hearty or rustic breads, and fruits with a sweet to tart flavor.

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