Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Our First Holiday Cheese! Bon Homme Brie

Hello everyone,

That's right, November is right around the corner! And that means it's time to feature some of our holiday cheeses...

The first holiday cheese I want to talk about is our Bon Homme Brie. This is a double crème brie from France that is exclusive to Whole Foods Market. It is the brie that we will be featuring with our "Easy as 1, 2, Brie!" program next month.

Cheese: Bon Homme Brie
Producers: Isigny Ste. Mère - A co-operative of farmers in Normandy, France
Country of Origin: France
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Vegetarian

Bon Homme is French for "jolly fellow", hence the jolly looking man on the front label. Being a double crème, this cheese contains 60% butterfat. Remember that this is the butterfat in the dry matter, and that this cheese has a really high moisture content, so a small serving may not be as fattening as you think! The Bon Homme is made with milk from grass-fed cows who have not been treated with any growth hormones such as RBST. I specifically like the Bon Homme because of the fact that it uses milk from grass fed cows. The grassy, mushroomy notes definitely come through in the cheese.

Now for the cheese itself... when you open up a package of the Bon Homme, you will be hit with a smell of earthy, mushroomy goodness. Depending on the age of the cheese, you might get hints of funk or ammonia. If you're smelling ammonia, remember that this is a natural byproduct of the cheese ripening process. Let the cheese sit out for a few minutes and if the smell of ammonia dissipates, your cheese will taste just fine. If the ammonia smell lingers for longer then this cheese is on the older side and depending on how strong/stinky you like your cheese, you may not like it at this stage.

Cutting into the Bon Homme, you'll notice that it is a little firmer than some bries you may be used to. This is totally normal and I really like the fact that it holds its shape even when it gets to room temperature because it makes for a less messy cheese plate. All that being said, do not assume that this cheese is not buttery and creamy like the softer bries with which you are familiar! The Bon Homme has great flavor - it tastes grassy, mushroomy, earthy, creamy and a little salty all at the same time. I like to eat this cheese on its own, or with some jams or jellies on top... yum!

Part of our "Easy as 1, 2, Brie" program that we'll be kicking off in November will be fig spread and sour cherry spread... two wonderful spreads to put on top or beside the Bon Homme. Carmelized walnuts and Marcona almonds will also be featured in this program.

Be sure to swing by your local Whole Foods Market cheese counter and taste this yummy cheese. I'm sure many of the teams will be sampling this out regularly during the holiday season, but if you don't see it, don't be afraid to ask.

I hope everyone is getting excited for the holidays, because I sure am! Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!