Let’s get something clear right up front: this cheese is a fatty… an oozing, sumptuous, sticky, spreadable, rich… fatty of a cheese. 60% fat in fact.
And it has everything going for it.
Bloomy rind like brie…
Decadent like triple cream Brillat-Savarin but it’s actually a double. The richness is due to a little mechanical sleight of hand*.
And blue. Barnyardy blue. Fresh cow pat, wet silage, funk-of-the-earth blue.
Fromagerie Guilloteau creates Fromager D’Affinois from whole milk from herds grazing the Massif du Pilat. They’re a large producer, making many cheeses in several varieties, available broadly. No, they’re not a small farmstead/artisan maker but goodness is this a wonderful cheese. Fromager D’Affinois Blue spikes the decadent but mellow paste of Fromager D’Affinois with penicillium as you can see. The dense paste restricts the molds from growing much beyond the tiny bubbles and pockets they can manage. The result is plenty of mellow butter and cream with a healthy smattering of a very barnyard blue bite. If you could reverse the percentage of moldy and unadulterated, this would be a strong cheese. As it is, put this out for the holidays and spread on everything. Crackers, meats, other cheese, your fingers… your friend’s fingers… Heaven.
*On that sleight of hand: Fromagerie Guilloteau achieves this ridiculously silky texture through a process they pioneered called ”ultra filtration.” This removes much of the water and and also breaks down the fat molecules to a finer grade; it creates a uniform, fabulously fatty, near-whipped texture. It also results in a greater concentration of nutrients beyond fat: more protein, more calcium per ounce than cheese not processed in this way.
Cheese: Fromager d’Affinois Blue
Where: Pélussin, Rhône-Alpes, France
Milk Type: cow, pasteurized
Shape: 4.4lb small wheel
Tasting notes: the blue is verybarnyardy, wet silage, cow pat, mellowed by mild cream of the paste
The next review: Bismark, a cave-aged sheep’s milk cheese from Grafton Village Cheese