Tuesday, January 29

Beautfort D'Alpage (Savoie, France)

Served with chocolate fig spread

They say: "There are three varieties of Beaufort: Beautfort d'ete (summer Beaufort), Beaufort d'Alpage (Beaufort made only in chalets in the Alps), and Beaufort d'hiver (winter Beaufort). Beaufort cheese is prepared using 130 gallons of milk for every 99 pounds of cheese desired. The milk used in one variety comes from the Tarentaise of Abondance cows that graze in the Alps. First, the milk is heated and then the cheese is cast into its molds, pressed, and slated. The prepared cheese must then age for 6-12 months, or even longer, in a cool mountain cellar. During this period, the cheese takes on its yellow color and acquires much of its flavor."

Cmoore says: The first whiff of this delight brought a smile to my face -- grassy, fruity notes evolving into a pleasant nuttiness when I sunk my teeth into the slightly granular, pressed paste. Delicious! However, I did think the chocolate fig spread, while decadent, didn't do this cheese justice. It was overpowering, and too bitter for the Beaufort. I would prefer it with honey, and a glass of fruity, slightly spicy red wine.

Suggested Pairings: Pinot Noir, Syrah, [Reds], Stout, Porter

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