What better way to start my one year cheese journey than with a cheese known as the “King of Cheese,” Epoisses. The first of my 14 “washed rind” cheeses, Epoisses in a raw milk cow cheese from from the village of Epoisses in France. This, um- “pungent” cheese is smear ripened in a Burgandy Brandy. Apparently, this cheese is so raunchy smelling that it is banned from being carried on public transit in France! Epoisses has been around since the 16th century, although the piece in my fridge has been around just a little less.
Do you know that smell, that raunchy take-a-step-back cheese smell? That would be Epoisses. It’s smeary and melty and almost feels as though it is eyeing you up. Probably not a great first cheese, but here goes…
The first hit I get of this wet gooey cheese is a kind of uric acid, followed by a distinct rot-and I actually mean this in a good way. It’s VERY strong and feels slightly angry and sexy-like a bipolar girlfriend. It’s hideous, and fabulous, and I want more. It’s actually making me cry eating this, the salt and sting are making my eyes water with joy and anguish.
I give this a 5 out of 5 for the raunch factor.
Wow, what a great beginning!