Tuesday, December 27, 2011
CHEESE TUESDAY - BRILLAT-SAVARIN
I've been eating tons of cheese since my family has been here (well and tons since before they arrived as well). But this is France, isn't that what you're supposed to do? This past week I went to my little cheese shop around the corner and bought three lovelies from the sweet woman who works there (and potentially owns it as well), one of which, was the Brillat-Savarin.
This cheese was a lovely surprise! I bought it for it's soft appearance, and while it definitely was soft, it was soft in a creamy kind of way instead of the oozing pustule way that I many find disgusting but which I find tempting and sexy. The Brillat-Savarin did not ooze, or pour, or collapse under my knife, nor did it crumble like it's goat cheese peers. Instead it held its creamy stance and spread gorgeously onto my bread.
The closest thing I can think of to compare this to would be cream cheese, though that seems more of an insult that anything else. The rich creaminess of this cheese is so much more complex, so much more elegant, so much more...French! It had a tiny, itsy bitsy sourness to it which gave it depth and interest, but not nearly enough to be anywhere close to off-putting or strong. The texture was a smoothness sitting somewhere between cream cheese and goat's cheese so that it did not crumble but also had some intriguing graininess to it that gave it interest and personality. I imagine eating it with fresh herbs like basil, or chives, and perhaps some nice slices of tomato, or, even better, nestled between two slices of bread with beautiful bits of crab flesh. Oh my goodness, just the thought of it is making me feel light-headed!
This cheese is so elegant and opulent it comes in nice, big, thick, rounds. As I said above, I bought three cheeses on one day, the Brillat-Savarin being one of them, and it was the first to disappear with almost the same swiftness as Santa on Christmas night.
I know I will miss this cheese immensely when I return to the states for even if I can find it there, I doubt it will be easy to find one as good as my neighborhood shop. A wonderful cheese for beginners, or those afraid of the festering wheels of stinky fermented strength I so adore, this would be a rich accompaniment to so many things. Use your imagination. I know I'll be fantasizing about it tonight as I lay in bed.