Chaource…A Trace of History

Many of Europe’s  fine cheeses,  are still hand-made in accordance with centuries-old techniques.  Chaource (shah-OORSE) by Lincet arises to the challenge.

Chaource has been in production in France since the Medieval ages.  Its name hails from a diminutive village in the Champagne region.  The Lincet family has been in the cheese trade for five generations…definitely a trace of history there.  This is an AOC-protected cheese, guaranteeing both that the milk comes from the designated region and the cheese is made according to strict, specific guidelines.

Its petite round wood box easily distinguishes this decadently lush cheese.  Made with pasteurized cow’s milk, this traditional, brie style is considered a double crème although it is as deceptively rich as a triple crème.  Ripening from the outside in, one can anticipate a runny, gooey outside layer to withdraw from the firmer and grainy core when slicing into it.

When consumed young, the interior is grainy and unrefined rather than smooth.  There is a tartness that counteracts the slight saltiness. The scent is fresh and milky.  When the cheese ripens, the bloom thickens and develops reddish streaks around the edges.  At this phase, the interior becomes creamy;almost overflowing out of the rind. The aroma radiates mushroom.

I really enjoyed the buttery, nutty faintly salty flavor.  It had a pleasing sense of balance.  My ideal way to have this cheese is with a glass of Cave L’Aurance sparkling wine.  The bubbles cut through the butter-fat refreshing the palate.  Spoon it directly into your mouth, smear it on a baguette, savor it with dried fruits and nuts or enjoy with summer fruit jams.  In select Bottle King stores now.

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About lmaybaum

Bottle King's resident Cheese Queen

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