Tomorrow is Mouldy Cheese Day, or as it’s often spelled Moldy Cheese Day. When you think of mouldy cheese, you might immediately think of blue cheese but you’re forgetting the less pungent popular cheeses such as camembert and brie.
WHAT ARE MOULDY CHEESES?
Generally we try to avoid mouldy food but with certain cheeses it’s the mould that gives them their unique character. Mouldy cheeses are in general found among two types of cheese:
- Bloomy rind cheeses; and
- Blue-veined cheeses
Bloomy rind cheeses are cheeses with a white rind such as brie or camembert. The rind is in fact the mouldy part of these cheeses. It can be a mix of two kinds of mould: penicillium candidum (which is a fluffy white coloured mould) and geotrichum candidum (which is the creamy coloured, squiggly appearance mould).
Blue-veined cheeses can be soft or semi-hard such as Roquefort and Saint Agur from France or gorgonzola from Italy. The blue or green shades that you see in blue-veined cheeses are the mould, which usually comes from penicillium roqueforti. Blue mould needs oxygen to develop. To achieve this, the cheese is pierced with a large wooden needle before being put in the cellar.
FRENCH MOULDY CHEESES TO EAT FOR MOLDY CHEESE DAY
We asked a few cheesemongers around Australia to share their French mouldy cheese recommendations for Moldy Cheese Day. Discover them below!
Sam from Artisans Bend by Cheese Therapy give us his recommendation for Moldy Cheese Day.
I think an amazing French cheese is Le Duc Vacherin.
It has the earthy flavours that you’d expect from a French cheesemaker, covered in a velvet of white mould and washes down OH SO WELL! with Champagne! Here’s a link to tasting notes – And here’s a link to it baked.
Le Duc Vacherin is not currently in stock at Artisans Bend but you may like to look at the Globetrotter’s pack, Artisans Bend’s international cheese pack.
Fourme D’Ambert AOP because it is one of the oldest French cheese with an history older than Roquefort. It has been produced for at least 1300 years and probably more as some mentions about this cheese go back to the BC period when France was known as “La Gaule”.
But mostly because it is the best way to get into blue cheese even if you don’t like them!
With their strong taste and sharp aroma blue cheese can often be off putting but Fourme d’Ambert AOP is not. It has all the characteristic of a blue cheese but everything about it is subtle and delicate.
So, for cheese lovers that are not into blue cheese, it is a great way to get used to the particularity of blue cheese and start to enjoy them!
What would you pair this cheese with?
Like most cheese Fourme d’Ambert AOP is best eaten at room temperature.
It is perfect with slightly toasted gingerbread and a dry white or with a crusty country bread with some aged Port! Apricot or plum jam, raisin, fresh figs, pears or banana are great accompaniments!
Olivia from Harper & Blohm recommends Langres and Champagne for Moldy Cheese Day.
In fact, you can pour champagne directly onto or into the cheese! It has a distinctive sunken centre – called a Fontaine – which is sometimes filled with Champagne or Marc de Champagne before it is served, making it a distinctive celebration cheese.
Aurore Ghigo from Cheese on Wheels says
Technically all cheese have mould. It’s a part of the microflora, the identity of the cheese.
My favorite is cabecou. While we make sure they are nice white and fluffy for the Australian market, they can develop some orange or green mould. Some french like them green and dry, some soft and creamy.
What would you pair this cheese with? Wine/eaux de vie or other food accompaniments.
Delicious fruit bread. Or baguette and honey.
Stephanie Stevenson of Le Fromage Yard in Brisbane says:
I cannot go past Roquefort! It is incredible in both texture and taste and so versatile. We love the combination of saltiness, sweetness of the ewe’s milk and the pungency of the blue vein – and I mean, can you get a better story than the Roquefort story? It’s a cheese that can be enjoyed as a table cheese, in a sauce, tart, pizza, in a salad or one of my favourites, bruléed.
What would you pair this cheese with? Wine/eaux de vie or other food accompaniments
I feel the ultimate pairing is simply some fresh, crusty baguette. Honey or honeycomb is always a beautiful pairing with blues, as the sweetness offsets the richness of the cheese. Fresh pears, figs or nuts are also a beautiful combination. We have recently started stocking a Fig Aperitif, which is something we really enjoy with blue cheeses! Or our other go to, is the classic pairing, a Sauterne.
Valerie Henbest of Smelly Cheese gives us her recommendations for Moldy Cheese Day. She has also recently written a blog post all about mould, which you can read here.
When asked her French moldy cheese picks, she said:
2 of my favourite mouldy cheeses are:
Camembert, because it represents home for me. Its strong aroma sends me straight back to Normandy with hints of wet top soil and mushroom characteristics. Its creamy and layered texture and its extraordinary complexity and earthiness will never cease to impress me with a real sense of identity.
Roquefort, because of its salty and sweet contrast, its unique creamy yet crumbly texture with the fabulous lingering and nutty finishing notes. It is truly like nothing else you will ever taste in that family of cheeses. There is a reason why the French call it the King of Blues!
What would you pair these cheeses with? Wine/eaux de vie or other food accompaniments.
Camembert paired with Normandy Cider and Roquefort paired with Sauternes bien sûr!
What’s your French cheese pick for Moldy Cheese Day?
–OTHER ARTICLES YOU MAY LIKE–
For other cheesy articles, take a look at the article we published about cheese subscription boxes.
For other events happening this month, take a look at our what’s on in October article.