Is there anything better than cheese? I think I'm going to start trying some new cheeses on a regular basis. New York City has so many good cheese stores which carry a lot of variety and unique imports. The key to this will be moderation, cheese is the evil anti-Christ. It calls me from the refrigerator and I am not happy until I gobble up every bit.
[shopping for cheese]
Last night I was in the city and stopped by Citarella in The Village to look for something good. Earlier in the day I bought some sliced raisin/pecan bread at Whole Foods I thought would be perfect with a creamy, strong cheese. My first choice was a St. Andre, which I love. St. Andre is a tangy, creamy, slightly sour cheese that goes great on breads and fruits. I always eat berry jam on it. I decided to pass because I wanted to try something new. As i poked around I looked up and asked the salesman if he could recommend something creamy and strong. He replied, "You got that in your hand, that's good." I had picked up a piece of Camembert earlier. He said it was stronger than brie. The was another small wheel of cheese in the case which was a Petit Fougerous. I asked, "how about that?" He replied, "well that's like a brie but stronger but not as strong as the Camembert. He wasn't very helpful.
After poking around I decided to take the Camembert because I was looking for something strong. As I walked to the cash registers I stopped and looked at the Camembert. What a cop out, I came to get something I never had before and was leaving with the Camembert. I was tossed between buying something different which I may not even like or being safe. I decided not to be safe and went back for the Petit Fougerous. The price for the wheel is $7.99 and its weights about 1/2 lb. I guess that would classify that as an expensive cheese since it would be about $16 a pound. When I bought it I thought it was a good deal. Nevermind...
[what is a petit fougerous?]
When I got home I did an internet search on my selection. I didn't come up with much. One description read,
"A petite Brie cheese, Fougerous is hand molded and wrapped in fern leaves, which give it a woodsy, mushroom-like flavor. The texture is smooth and creamy. Enjoy as an appetizer or serve for a dessert course with pears."
Another description read,
"A Coulommier type cheese distinguished by the fern leaf on the surface. Made with unpasteurized milk."
I believe its cow's milk.
What's coulommier? I first I thought it was a type of cheese, but I think its a way cheese is made. A description I found says,
"Coulommier is a soft cheese from France that is produced in a mold rather than in a draining cloth."
I also found a recipe. It sound good, if you can translate it. It's like a Brie quiche.
click to enlarge
The Petit Fourgerous is a attractive little wheel of cheese. It looks like a mini brie but has a fern leaf on the top. I don't think I am suppose to eat the fern. The cheese is coated in a typical white rind which should be eaten with the cheese. As I mentioned earlier I bought a raisin/pecan bread to eat with my cheese. I think my wanted the bread first then tried to find a cheese to go with it. I cut the bread into triangles and toasted to make it a bit crisp.
My first taste of the cheese "sans-bread" exposed a nutty cheese with an earthy flavor. I would agree that it was stronger than a typical brie. My second taste was on the warm toasted bread which partially melted the cheese. It was gooey with a bit more flavor. My third taste was on the untoasted raisin/pecan bread. I think the untoasted bread was better then having it get too soft. The texture of the cheese is part of the experience. My fourth taste was in the morning while the cheese was cold from the refrigerator. I don't think this was the best. It should be removed from the refrigerator and served cool but not cold. The rind on the Petit Fourgerous is very strong and should be consumed in proportion with the cheese. If you get a mouthful of too much rind, it can be a bit salty and have slight bitter aftertaste.
Here's what I did with the Petit Fourgerous for lunch. It's a Ham, Petit Fourgerous and cranberry chutney sandwich.
[in my opinion...]
I recommend this cheese for anyone who like brie and wants an upgrade.