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Adventures of an American cooking, eating and living in France

Grilled Cheese Review #4: Chevre Frais and Fourme d’Ambert

Grilled Cheese Review #4: Chevre Frais and Fourme d’Ambert

NOTE: This post originally appeared on danielwaldman.com.

It’s been quite a while since I last posted a grilled cheese review. It isn’t that I haven’t been eating them (I have). It’s that I’ve just been a little busy between trying to recreate Thanksgiving in France, prepare for the holidays, family visits, dinner parties, work and just general life. But a few French people I know have been asking me about the reviews, and so I thought it one was past due.

Plus, I made a the other day that I could not resist reviewing. It was sooooo gooooood. To the point of me almost not wanting to write any other reviews because I may have found the holy grail of grilled cheese sandwiches, if such a thing exists. Here’s my review:

Cheese: Frais (fresh ) & Fourme d’Ambert
Bread: Boule de campagne
Fillings: None
Fat: Butter

First, let me say that there is nothing more amazing than fresh . While what you can find in your standard packaging at your grocery store is usually decent, buying it when it’s fresh brings a whole new level of goodness. It’s not just soft, it’s also quite moist–in a good way. It’s has very subtle flavor, especially when compared to stronger-flavored aged goat cheeses (which are also quite transcendent in their own way).

Fourme d’Ambert is a fascinating cheese. It’s a type of blue cheese, but unlike what you usually find in the States. In the States, most blue cheeses are crumbly. Fourme d’Ambert is the opposite. It’s semi-hard and extremely creamy. Interestingly, it is one of the oldest cheeses in France. It’s produced both commercially and artisanally. The hunk I got was bought off our cheese guy at our weekly outdoor market, and was made with unpasteurized milk (which, in my opinion, is makes the most flavorful cheeses; you can’t even get these in the States, which is highly unfortunate).

The combination of these two cheeses was, if I can be so bold, revelatory in taste. The goat cheese was slightly tangy and perfectly mushy while the Fourme d’Ambert offered a big mouthful of tangy flavor that complemented the goat cheese. It also greatly contributed to the gooiness, which the goat cheese couldn’t provide, and it had a nice, big mouthfeel. The boule de campagne has become my go-to bread these days. It’s both light and airy but it also crisps up very nicely. So far, I’ve been hard pressed to try to find a bread that makes a better , though I’d like to find one that’s sliced slightly thicker.

Sandwich score: 4.5/5

 

It occurred to me that the real genius of this sandwich was perhaps its simplicity. As is sometimes the case, using fewer ingredients in a dish (even one as mundane as a grilled cheese sandwich) helps each of those ingredients stand out. In this case, the four ingredients worked so well together that it’d nearly be a travesty of justice to add any other component. That’s not to say it’s not worth experimenting with 😉



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