Back to France for my 7th little slice of cheese, Fleur D’Aunis.
But first, a letter from my aunt, Paulette regarding this blog which she is following all the way from Kuala Lumpur. She writes, of the cheese eating (sic): “I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT THE RITUAL, DO YOU GARGLE WITH DILUTED WHITE WINE TO CLEANSE YOUR TONGUE? DO YOU LIGHT A CANDLE FOR AMBIENCE TO CREATE A MEDITATION THING. do you have a grape or cracker, if so do you intuitively select or is it a deliberate decision? DO YOU CUT THE CHEESE ON A WOODEN CUTTING BOARD, WITH A GLASS OR CERAMIC KNIFE? have you started a mousetrap collection? are you tempted to add a squiggle of red papper jelly on occasion? Is there a linen napkin folded in an origami shape? what about the plate?? OR, ARE FINGERS PART OF THE TACTILE EXPERIENCE. is the cheese room temperature? surely you let it come to room temperature?”
I am ashamed to admit that very little of this clearly important ritual is not followed, sadly- dear Auntie. I take out my cheese at 5 in the morning while I make my coffee to let it come down to room temperature. I choose the 14 cheeses two weeks in advance by “cheese family” roughly-we are currently in the “soft rind family.” There is no candle, no meditation, although my Mac computer does glow sweetly in the gloaming. I have no grape, no cracker, and although I am tempted to add a squiggle of red pepper jam I try to remain a purist. There ought to be an origami napkin and a special plate, but alas, it’s me, the cheese, and a desperately hungry chihuahua. The fingers are important, I like to feel the cheese, I like to smell the cheese, and I also like to smell my fingers after handling the cheese-that’s a little secret.
I digress, now, back to the cheese. Fleur D’Aunis is another semi-hard, pasteurized cow cheese with a washed rind-this time from Charentes-Poitou, France. Like many of the others in this category, it’s buttery coloured with a light orange rind. Soft bubbles run through the cheese and the rind is sticky, ridged and pungent.
without any ritual or palate cleansing (sorry) here goes…
Mmmm. Ok, this is some seriously good cheese. It strangely reminds me of those little tin-foil wrapped soft cheeses we used to find on cheese plates in the 70’s-but in a good way. It’s friendly and strangely familiar, very toothsome and creamy. If you add the rind you get your slight hit of raunch, but the cheese itself is completely raunch-free. It’s exactly what you want in a cheese: umami, sweetness, stickiness. Go and buy this now and thank me later. Wow, this is a keeper, two sticky thumbs up.
I rate Fleur D’Aunis 5 out of 5 stars for delicious taste and toothsome texture.