If you know my wife, you’ll know that…
She. Loves. Cheese.
So this year, I got her a gift that she’ll get to enjoy for the 24 days leading up to Christmas, (unlike most gifts that you only really enjoy after the big day) … an advent calendar of French cheeses. Today was cheese #1…
La Box Fromage
First, a bit of background…
You’ve seen them, they’re kind of all over the place these days; Subscription boxes. You pay a fixed amount each month and you get a box of…. vegetables, socks & ties, craft items, etc.
It’s an ingenious way of marketing and, at the same time, building a stable revenue stream. Those merchants who’ve been doing it for a while were seemingly prescient as it’s a business model particularly well-adapted to the Covid19 era.
We didn’t do a monthly subscription but back in October I saw an Instagram ad for La Box Fromage‘s Cheesy Christmas advent calendar; one portion, of a different cheese, each day leading up to Christmas. It’s the brain child of Grenoble-based, Fromagerie Les Alpages, a dairy that has won the distinctions the likes of ‘French Craftsman of the Year’ and ‘World Champion’ in the cheese-making world.
I didn’t hesitate, and it’s a good thing. By early November they were no longer available… a victim of their own success.
It came with a LaGuiole cheese knife, a booklet with information on cheese-tasting and a sort of score-card, where you could record your impressions and give each cheese a score (no doubt, one of the goals is so that you’ll know which ones to re-order from them, at a later time! 😉 ).
Join us for the next 24 days as we taste the cheeses of France.
Day #1: Coeur de Pomm.
- Name: Coeur de pomm.
It’s named this because during the ripening period, it’s bathed in Pommeau, a type of apple cider (cider production is very much associated with northern France). The apple-smell was evident from the first whiff and very much drew us in.
- Region of Origin: Nord Pas-de-Calais
André Facchetti, a cheesemaker in Northern France, was the first to ripen cheese like this, with Pommeau and is credited on the packaging, even though this cheese was produced in Grenoble, in the Auvergne Rhone-Alps region, south-east of Lyon.
- Milk: Cow’s milk, non-pasteurized
- Made by: Fromagerie Les Alpages
- Our Score: 4.5/5
We scored it high! Timo said “Best cheese I’ve ever tasted!” and it’s true that it really melted in your mouth.
Making the Cut
Apparently there’s ‘a way’ to cut differently shaped cheeses (That’s so very French… there’s a specific way to do so many things) and the people at La Box Fromage were kind enough to include graphics in their booklet, suggesting the best way to cut today’s heart-shaped cheese.
Somehow I feel just a wee-tad more cultured today than I did yesterday! 🙂 …and in the words of General Charles deGaulle:
“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”
Happy Cheesy Christmas….
See you tomorrow for cheese #2