Fromage Friday: Epoisses de Bourgogne

I had several major failures in England, including not procuring any black pudding. Black Pudding is one of 47 things left remaining on a 100 Things to Eat Before You Die list. Therefore, I had to go for Epoisses cheese this week, so I can check another item off.

I was a little intimidated. When you look up Epoisses de Bourgogne, you see that its a “strong-smelling, washed-rind cheese, with an aroma of marc.” Marc is not a smelly French guy, but rather the grape residue such as skins of the alcohol from grapes which certain cheeses are bathed in or treated with to improve or change their flavor. Also, when you buy Epoisses from the fromager, it looks like it’s trying to escape from its rind. In the case, it reminded me of Gak.

Turns out, Epoisses cheese is absolutely nothing compared to the Lorraine (and Alsace) specialty of Munster. I took one bite, savored, and thought “this isn’t even strong!” Guess who has two thumbs and is really French today? This guy.

Epoisses de Bourgogne
Made by: Local. I suspect it actually came from Champagne, which is just one region to the west.
Hails from: Bourgogne, or Burgundy. You know it for wine and Dijon.
Background: A rich, salty-sweet taste. To be fair, I bought this last week and didn’t find it to be very strong, but trying it again on Wednesday it had definitely grown some more punch. So depending on how strong you like your cheese, you might need to be a little patient.
Can I eat the rind? Yep. Actually you kind of have to if you want to get any cheese off the paper.
Serve it: Gratin would be a good idea. French people just love gratin, and I bet they would throw in zucchini with this. Also, I would be curious to see an Epoisses fondue, since it’s already halfway to fondue in its natural state.

I saved this for the end, for those with delicate senses.

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