Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the products discussed here were provided to me for reviewing purposes at no cost.
‘Tis the season for office Christmas parties, girls’ gift exchanges, holiday cocktail parties, family gatherings, and more! ‘Tis also the season of gift-giving, and the best gifts are often the unexpected ones. Our kitchen received two recent unexpected gifts. The first came in the form of an opportunity to sample two festive best-selling cheeses from Fromagerie Guilloteau: Fromager d’Affinois with Truffles and Saint Angel. The second was a recipe utilizing one of the sampled cheeses to prepare a seasonal holiday side course sure to impress your guests.
But first, a word about the cheeses…
Saint Angel, with its delicate white rind and luxurious firm-butter texture is a triple-cream cheese whose taste is underscored by hints of nut and sweet cream. The buttery comparison extends from its texture to the palate as well, with faint saltiness and buttery flavors adding a layer of richness to its overall impression without overpowering the palate. Its flavor lingers pleasantly on the tongue without retrogressing into bitterness or overstaying its welcome, another plus that cheeses of this nature can lack on occasion. Enjoyed with toasted breads, nuts, or veggie platters, this mild-mannered cheese brings elegance and dimension to your table in a way that people who enjoy understated cheeses should appreciate.
Fromager d’Affinois with Truffles is made with real Black Truffles from the Perigord region of France. This cheese is the more overt of the two samples we received. A softer, earthier cheese than Saint Angel, both its aroma and flavor are led by notes of mushrooms and subtle garlicky undertones typical of black truffles. It has a light and bloomy rind that when sliced, reveals engaging flecks of black truffle throughout the cheese. This is a cheese that stands up well alongside more pronounced flavors like charcuterie or grilled steak and vegetables, its garlic and mushroom notes marrying well with a variety of other foods’ tastes and textures. This cheese was used to create the guest recipe that was shared with us below. Try it for a unique alternative to your traditional side dishes, and serve your guests a rich and creamy treat incorporating potatoes, pumpkin, and truffle oil.
Verrines of Pumpkin and Fromager d’ Affinois
Serves: 4 Prep time: 20 min. Cooking time: 22 min
- 3 potatoes, washed and unpeeled
- 1 lb. pumpkin
- 1 shallot
- 1 Tbsp salted butter
- 1 Tbsp cream
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3.3 oz. unsalted chicken stock
- 4 tsp truffle-infused olive oil
- 3.5 oz. Fromager d’Affinois truffles
- Fill large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the unpeeled potatoes and boil until soft. Meanwhile, peel the pumpkin, remove seeds and fibrous part, and dice into 1-inch cubes. (Note: you may substitute frozen pumpkin for fresh pumpkin if needed.) Drain and peel potatoes.
- Peel and chop shallot and brown it in the saucepan with the salted butter for approximately 5 minutes. After the shallot has been browned add the diced pumpkin, shallot, cream, chicken stock and salt. Reduce the mixture to a puree with a hand mixer or masher.
- Divide the puree into four verrines. Drizzle each verrine with truffle-infused olive oil. Cut the Fromager d’Affinois Truffles into thin slices and place on top of each verrine.
About Fromagerie Guilloteau
Fromagerie Guilloteau was created in 1981 with the production of the first Pavé d’Affinois cheese, using ultra-filtration methods that retain all the nutrients of the milk, which gives a unique taste and texture to the cheese. Fromagerie Guilloteau collects nearly 40 million liters of milk per year from Montbéliardes and Prim’Holsteins Montbéliardes cow breeds, found mostly in mountainous regions of France. Both of these breeds are known to produce high-quality milk, particularly rich in proteins, which makes for the smooth, creamy, textured cheese Fromagerie Guilloteau has become known for.
For information on Fromagerie Guilloteau and its cheeses, please visit: www.fromagerdaffinois.com
All images and Verrines of Pumpkin and Fromager d’ Affinois recipe courtesy of Fromagerie Guilloteau