Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, October 10 2019

Le Coutances

By: Allison Spurrell
The holiday cheese of the year

A perfect taste of fall flavours for your holiday cheese board.

Cheese: Le Coutances

Origin: Normandie, France

Milk Type: Cow’s milk

Style: Soft ripened / bloomy rind

Description: Le Coutances comes in a small wheel, weighing in at two hundred grams. The shape is slightly cylindrical and only about 8 centimetres across, and 6 centimetres high. As the cheese gets close to perfect ripeness, the top center will slump inwards slightly. That’s a sign that the inside is beautifully soft, and the cheese is ready.

The plant in the town of Coutances, in Normandie, has been bought in recent years by the French cheese-making giant Savencia, but the quality of this small production doesn’t seem to have suffered at all.

Tasting Notes: Le Coutances is a double cream cow’s milk cheese with a silky, smooth texture. The paste is dense and creamy on the palate, getting downright runny the closer it gets to its ripening date. Hints of cooked root vegetables, cauliflower and mushrooms, make this deceivingly simple looking cheese a lovely surprise. It’s noticeably aromatic, maybe even slightly funky, but it doesn’t have any bitterness on the rind.

Pairing: It is a lovely addition to a cheese plate as it will stand up to whatever you pair with it, without overpowering the rest of the selection. I find it particularly delicious with a slightly sweet nut and fruit cracker, like Raincoast Crisps or Rustic Bakery. It’s excellent paired with a tomato jam or an onion confit.

Written By: Allison Spurrell
Allison Spurrell
Allison Spurrell

Allison Spurrell stocks the larders of the city’s finest restaurants and your fridge alike, through les amis du FROMAGE, cheese shops in the Kitslano and Strathcona neighbourhoods in Vancouver which she runs with Joe Chaput. Their shelves are filled with 400 cheeses, including local, raw milk French, Italian and other specialties. They also sell foie gras, pâtés, crackers, biscuits, varietal olive oils, vinegars and other specialty food items and their kitchen in Strathcona prepares popular frozen taken away meals. Les amis du FROMAGE has received Vancouver Magazine's Restaurant Award as a top food supplier to Vancouver’s best restaurants and hotels. Allison is a proud member of Confrerie les Chevalier du Taste Fromage de France. To buy cheese visit: les amis du FROMAGE in Kitslano - 1752 West 2nd Ave | Tel (604) 732-4218 or Strathcona - 843 East Hastings St | Tel 604-253-4218 | www.buycheese.com.