That's right, I said it, wrinkles are sexy! At least in the case of this magnificent cheese... Bonne Bouche.
Cheese: Bonne Bouche (French for "good mouthful")
Producers: Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery located in, you guessed it, Vermont
Milk: Pasteurized goat's milk
Aged: Ten days before release - can be aged up to 80 days after that.
Rennet: Microbial (vegetarian)
The Bonne Bouche is one of the cheeses that we are featuring this month at the cheese counter and I think it is the perfect time to do so. It is a wonderfully fresh and full flavored goat's milk cheese that can be used in many lighter dishes just in time for spring.
Before we get into the flavor, let's talk about it's appearance first. The wrinkles come from a yeast called Geotrichum which interacts with the mold on the rind to reduce fluffiness and instead produce wrinkles. The Bonne Bouche is grey because they sprinkle it with poplar wood ash before they allow it to ripen. The ash does add a slight earthiness to the cheese, but ultimately the ash is used as a preserving agent that prohibits unwanted mold growth on the surface.
I took a picture of the cheese in it's box above because I wanted to talk about this ingenious contraption. The wood box actually acts as a mini cheese cave.. the wood absorbs any extra moisture from the cheese and then if the cheese starts to dry out, the cheese can take moisture from the wood! It's pretty cool... if you can't finish a whole round in one sitting, put the rest back into the box and wrap with film.
And now finally, for the flavor... think fresh goat's milk with a touch of hay. As I said before, if you eat the rind, the ash lends a touch of earthiness. Because it is so small, it ripens very quickly causing the paste on the inside to become gooey and delicious. The round that I cut into today still had some of the firm paste in the middle that was surround by a gooey exterior... simply divine.
This cheese would pair nicely with some fresh grapes and some caramelized nuts. To drink, I would go with a slightly sweeter, yet not syrupy white wine like a Pinot Grigio or Riesling. The classic goat cheese with Sauvignon Blanc (or Sancerre) pairing would work nicely as well.
Well that's all I have to say for now. The Bonne Bouche is currently on sale and on special at our cheese counter, so come pick up a round for yourself. Also, don't forget to join us 3/9 (yikes! that's today!) at 12pm for our Parm Crack! It is bound to be a great time. Until then, eat, drink and be happy!