Sunday, May 11, 2014

Le Chimay à la Bière

Hello loyal readers!

I apologize for the brief absence. I've been on vacation and completely out of reach of technology. I must say it was quite refreshing!

Today I'd like to write about one of the first beer washed rind cheeses that I ever tried, Le Chimay à la Bière.


Cheese: Le Chimay à la Bière
Producer: The monks at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Scourmont
Location: Close to the town of Chimay in Belgium
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

In the late 1800s, the monks at this Abbey decided to establish a dairy as well as a brewery to help fund the monks' livelihood. You may recognize the name Chimay as being a brand of beer (and they are some delicious beers at that), but the monks also made cheese! Many of the cheeses are washed with the water from nearby springs, but this particular cheese is washed with the Chimay beer the monks make.

The texture of the cheese is soft and supple, with the aroma of hops and hay. It definitely has a pungent odor, but the flavor is actually quite mellow (as is the case with most washed rind cheeses). While I was tasting this cheese, I was enjoying a nice wheat beer which actually paired quite nicely with the cheese.

This is a cheese that you want to buy freshly cut and get it out of the plastic wrapping as soon as you can. The Chimay à la Bière is a bit fragile once cut and will get funky very quickly, so be sure to enjoy it right away.

I'm also super excited to say that we'll be featuring another Chimay cheese that is completely new to me during the month of June, so be sure to stop by a NorCal Whole Foods Market cheese counter and try it!

I hope you all had a great Mother's Day! Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!