New feature on FrenchTwistDC: spotlighting cheese plates from various fromageries around the metro area. It’s not just a stereotypes, the French do love their cheese. Obviously, it’s a little harder for me to find a good selection here than it is in my hometown. But it’s not impossible and there are a number of good spots to get the smelly stuff around D.C. First up: Whole Foods P Street.
Boursin Garlic and Herbs $3.49 – For some reason, Whole Foods has one of the lowest retail price on Boursin. My local Safeway sells the exact same product for $7.69, more than twice the price! If you haven’t been introduced to the wonderfulness that is Boursin yet, you’re missing out. It’s a delicious (mass produced) soft creamy cheese, that’s excellent on bread (the brand’s slogan is “Du Pain, Du Vin, Du Boursin” or “Some bread, some wine, some Boursin” which in my opinion is pretty much all you need to live) as well as baked in dates wrapped in Prosciutto or instead of sour cream in your mashed potatoes.
Pont l’Eveque $6.00 – Made from cow’s milk, this washed-rind cheese traces its origins back to the 12th century and is one of the oldest cheese in the country. Like many French cheeses, it bears the name of the village where it is made: Pont L’Eveque in Normandy, and its taste is supposed to remind you of the lush green grass of the region. It’s a rich and full bodied creamy cheese that pairs well with robust red like St. Emilion or Pinot Noir. Feel free to eat the crust too on this one.
Brin d’amour fleur du Maquis $3.90 – Brin d’Amour means breath of love, though not everyone will love this corsican sheep’s milk cheese. Brin d’Amour is an uncooked and unpressed cheese that requires a maturing period of at least one month and has a slightly sour taste. Its natural rind is covered with rosemary, thyme, fennel seeds and other savoury aromatic herbs found in the underbrush landscape of the mediterranean island. I love it, especially paired with Côte du Rhône or a Tempranillo.
St Marcellin $7.99 – This cheese is kind of like St Felicien’s little brother. They’re both made from pasterized cow’s milk, and have a similar texture and shape, though St Felicien tends to be twice as big. Both come in a little ceramic dish that hold them together as they become runnier and creamier with age. The little crock can also double up as a crème brûlée dish afterwards. Score! Pairs well with Côte du Rhône, Chateauneuf du Pape or a spicy Syrah.
So these are my Whole Foods P Street picks. Any particular cheese you love at that store?