New York City’s French Cheese Board
Love cheese? Well who doesn’t! Good news for those in the New York City area, where The French Cheese Board has opened a studio devoted to, you guessed it, french cheese. So pour yourself a glass of vino … or bourbon, we are in for one tasty ride!
So this studio space is really a lab, where cheese lovers both professionally and personally can come and learn what France has to offer when it comes to cheese through tastings, events and interactive showings. We attended an event last week where the French cheese was pair with bourbon, provided by Four Roses Bourbon… a rather new idea in the pairings world. Once would assume the classic cheese and wine combo, but the event showcased an unusual pairing that was not lacking in the flavor department. Why bourbon and cheese? The bourbon offers sweet notes which compliments the savory and saltiness of the cheese.
1st Pairing – Mimolette and Four Roses Yellow
Mimolette, low moisture, very mild cows milk cheese, about 12-15 month old, “more for your kids” type of cheese, not too complex. With a sharp, nutty and slightly fruity taste. Originally introduced by Louis XIV in the 17th century and it was turned by hand once a week to ensure full flavor. It has a very bright orange color due to a natural additive, annatto, which is found in the tropic regions and used as a carotenoid-based yellow to orange food coloring and flavor.
Four Roses Yellow is a light, mellow drinking whiskey, with notes of fruits, floral and honey. It is recommended to taste both the cheese and bourbon separately and then all at once to get the nice, smooth finish. The bourbon helps break down the mimolette in the mouth and has a buttery taste.
2nd Pairing -Comté and Four Roses Small Batch
Comté, more complex then the mimolette, and takes a bit longer in the aging process with a 6 -18 months of developing, if not longer. The comté is made with uncompromised milk which yields more aroma. “Each wheel tends to be a little different but never disappoints,” Max McCalman says, the Maître Fromager, or cheese master, as well as author, consultant and educator of all this French cheese as well as the speaker for the evening. Extremely nutritious, the comté is rich in protein and full of amino acids and great for any balanced diet.
Four Roses Small Batch – softer, mellower, whiskey, long smooth nutty finish, spicy bite to the whiskey. Great for Old Fashions. When pairing , it is important to find complimentary aromas in both cheese and bourbon. With the small batch and comté together, it is a very crisp taste and makes for a glorious finish.
3rd Pairing – Epoisse and Four Roses Single Barrel
Epoisse, a pasteurized, high moisture cheese, very pungent smell, with more salt, with a rich salty and creamy flavor, it is a crowd favorite! This power house of a cheese requires power house bourbon.
Four Roses Single Barrel – With fruity, spicy notes, the Single Barrel has hints of maple syrup, plum and cherries, it makes for a smooth, long finish.
Stephen Schuler, Co-Founder of Proof Positive Beverage explains why the Four Roses Distillery is so special. “Four Roses in unique compared to other bourbons because most the of the bourbon distilleries operate by using multi floor, multi store brick houses, where the temperature difference from very bottom to very top can be from as much as 50, 60 and 70 degrees at a time. we on the other hand use 20 individual single story rack houses, our temp difference is no more than 6 to 8 deg at one point in time. Other distilleries need to keep changing the location of the barrels because of the temperature, but we don’t not touch them.”
Be sure to check the next pop up event this Friday at The French Cheese Board’s new NYC location 26 West 39th Street! You will not be disappointed!
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