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CCPNewFrench-ComtesseDeVichy

Described as a “very good bloomy rind cheese”, the taste is mild and milky. It’s only been around since 2004.

A chevre from the Loire Valley region, wrapped in a chestnut leaf to aid its ripening, it is light and velvety on the tongue.

CCPNewFrench-DeliceDeVougeot

There’s a hint of garlic and the herby flavors of parsley and chives. From France’s Burgundy region.

CCPNewFrench-FougerusLaitCru

Fougerus Au Lait Cru — a most refined Brie, with a sweet-salty flavor and the woodsy aroma of fern.

CCPNewFrench-NosAmoures

But of course there must be French Sparkling to go with les fromages! My choice of sparkling for the evening was Nos Amours Brut.

CCPNewFrench-VieuxPaysanRoquefort

Strong and sassy flavor. A robust Roquefort. Best with bread and a full-bodied wine. My favorite.

Il y’a un fromage par jour de l’année” – There is a different cheese for every day of the year, according to an old French proverb. It is said that it was the French monks who started the cheese revolution and evolution in France, many centuries ago. And with France known for producing hundreds of varieties of delicious cheese as it is — some say 400, others say over 1,000, and some even 2,000 — I was intrigued by the idea that they are coming out with even more new cheeses. When our Cheese Club chose to celebrate the new cheeses from France one evening — Tous les Nouveaux Fromages Français — I knew it was going to be quite an adventure.

And it definitely was! These are my most-preferred from among the array of young and artisanal cheeses offered that night. But then, I am partial to strong-flavored cheeses — the stinkier, the better! And the one that sent me to cheesy ecstasy was the Vieux Paysan J. Carles (crema di Roquefort) — made with raw ewe’s milk, from a second processing of Roquefort, and semi-matured. Vieux paysan means old peasant. Created by cheese artisan and Roquefort expert Jacque Carles, I suppose one could say this cheese is appropriate and eponymously named. This cheese pairs beautifully with an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon or a gentle Merlot.

Vive les French fromages!

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