Cheese of the Week: Bucherondin

If Gabrielle and I made a list of all the things we both love, it would probably take up several volumes, but I’m pretty sure Champagne, Mario Kart, and goat cheese would all be near the top.  Due to Gabrielle’s insane schedule, I have what I suspect will be a rare opportunity to write The Feast’s weekly cheese post.  With her in mind, I naturally picked a chevre that we shared together a few weeks ago.

Bucherondin

Bucherondin, courtesy of quinn.anya on Flickr

Like Le Chevrot, Bucherondin is made by the agricultural co-op Sèvre et Belle in western France.  This cheese’s name derives from the French words “buche” (log) and “bucheron” (lumberjack), and looking at it, you can immediately see why: it’s formed in thick logs, with a wrinkly rind that closely resembles bark.  (It also makes me want to sing Monty Python at the top of my lungs, but that’s another story.)  Beneath that rind, you find two distinct layers.  The outermost is slightly transparent, and can be gooey at room temperature on a warm day.  The center, on the other hand, is whiter and firmer — what most Americans probably picture when they hear “chevre.”  Indeed, Bucherondin was one of the first French goat cheeses to be exported to the United States.

Fairly mild when young, this goat gets more assertive with time, but it manages to avoid the common pitfalls that cause less adventurous eaters to complain.  Bucherondin is not gamey, chalky, or pasty, though it does become drier and more flaky as it ages.  The bloomy rind (as it’s called by professionals) is formed by spraying edible mold on the outside.  It’s a common practice for soft cheeses, but I found it to add more to the taste than one would expect, giving the cheese an almost blue-like finish.

On this occasion, we enjoyed it with a fresh baguette and a glass of crisp white wine, but you can also pair Bucherondin with reds as it matures. If you somehow don’t manage to consume it all before it dries out, try crumbling it into a salad for an extra punch of umami. Unfortunately, with Gabrielle and myself, I’m afraid it will never last that long.

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