When I was in Paris, I bought a used copy of the massively impressive encyclopedia of cheese, by Pierre Androuët. Androuët’s name alone would be enough to make me buy the book, as the man is known as the “unchallenged ambassador of French cheese,” but it is also chock full of info on cheeses that I have had difficulty finding information about on the INTERNET. It’s a goldmine, a great present, and I intend to use it well in the new year.
Not that I need a goldmine this week, because Pont L’évêque is so common in France that it merits nearly two full columns of commentary from Mr. Androuët.
Pont L’évêque, cow cheese.
Made by: Unmarked.
Hails from: Traditionally made in the areas of Calvados, Eure, Manche, Mayenne and Seine-Maritime. Translation: northwest France, in Normandy.
Background: This cheese has been made since the 1500s, but only became legitimate AOC (local, protected nametag) in 1972. It’s a soft, washed cheese and smooth and gooey on the inside. Expect a pungent flavor, though not anywhere near as action-packed as Munster, and a little bit of an earthy, salty taste. It’s also square and has a very particular method for cutting, which makes me laugh.
Can I eat the rind? Yes. Go for it!
Serve it: We enjoyed it as an after-dinner treat, but if you’re not slowly being consumed by strange French eating habits, use it for dressing a salad or as a way to spice up your “brie toast” recipe. It would be great with a sandwich made with fruit or fruit sauces, as well.