Jun 10

Boulette d’Avesnes (cheesy lover #84)

FT + Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 741 views

A beer-washed, paprika-covered spiced cows milk cheese from France, bought from Une Normande a Londres.

Boulette d’Avesnes is also known as suppositoire du diable – you can translate that yourself. It’s a pointed, conical little round of cheese, and comes in its own little plastic dome. It’s a deep, fiery, damp powdery orange on the outside – a result of being rubbed down with hot paprika – and when I cut into it the paste is pale, soft and crumbly, and liberally speckled with herbs.

It tastes very interesting, but not very much like a cheese. My first impression is that it’s sausagey, and subsequent tastings do nothing to dispel this. It tastes hot and smoky – the paprika rind, especially, is really quite intense. It’s strongly flavoured, but not in any very cheesy way; it’s very peppery, salty, and meaty. Spread on crusty bread, it makes an excellent dairysausage sandwich.

I’d not list this in my Top 10 Cheeses – I’m not entirely convinced that it’s a cheese at all. But it’s interesting and fun, at least in moderation. I’m not sure I’d like to try eating an entire one. And as an example of a cheese-with-stuff-in, it’s definitely nicer than most. The internet suggests pairing it with beer and I think that it would go very well with something cold and hoppy.

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