Friday, February 3, 2012

Champignons Fourme d'Ambert

Fourme d’Ambert is one of the oldest French cheeses, dating back at least to the Roman occupation around the turn of the millennium and probably even earlier to the Gauls and Druids. Fourme, from the Old French word for cheese, is a mild, semi-hard cow’s milk blue cheese. Ambert is the center of Fourme’s production, a town in the rugged and rural Auvergne region of south-central France.

It’s one of the mildest and subtlest of blue cheeses, quite understated compared to the more robust and equally ancient Roquefort, made with sheep’s milk. Fourme is rich, creamy, buttery, with at least a 50% fat content, and a light blue veining. It has an earthy sort of odor, absorbed no doubt from the damp caves it’s aged in. It’s profile is often described as deep and dark, punchy and spicy. Flavor overtones frequently mentioned include: roasted nuts, mushrooms and wine with delicate hints of fruit. It often appeals to people who think that they don’t like stinky and/or blue cheeses.


large stuffing mushrooms, stems removed, caps and stems washed, stems minced
extra-virgin olive oil
shallots, minced
garlic, minced and mashed
celery, minced
bacon, cooked and minced
thyme or Herbes de Provence
parsley, curly
chestnuts, cooked and minced
bread crumbs, from a crusty country-style white loaf
lemon zest
white wine, dry
soy sauce
pepper, freshly ground
Fourme d’Ambert cheese

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