Friday, December 07, 2007

Cheese of the Week: Fromage Blanc de l'Indiana

Hoosier cheeses are making a name for themselves. When I was at school in Italy, some of our faculty members associated my home state not with that silly race track or its proximity to Chicago. They knew Capriole Farms and its line of delectable cheeses produced by Hoosier goats. Stateside, Jackie found a great article from San Francisco that referenced another Indiana fromage, Traders Point Creamery’s Fleur de la Terre. Both I and the Fleur are excited about Jackie’s holiday visit to Indiana, so I’ll leave that cheese for her tasting and write up. But another Traders Point cheese has crossed my plate lately.

The Creamery packs three versions of its fresh Fromage Blanc into square plastic tubs that are quite plentiful for the $5 a piece price. The pure variety isn’t plain. I haven’t had it in a while, but my taste buds remember its similarity to Traders Point milk: grassy with a pleasing hint of the cows’ stable and a subtle buttery richness. I haven’t tasted the Fromage Spicy yet, but recently, I took home a tub of the Fromage Blanc Garden Herb.

The thick cheese can press out its own moisture so I like to mix it up after it sits at room temperature for 15 minutes or so. Then it’s easy to spread and seems extra lush, spiked with big flakes of green herbs.

On its own—on top of a cracker or spread on warm toast—this batch was a little too heavy on the garlic for my taste. I’d encourage the talented Traders Point cheesemakers to remember that garlic powder packs a more concentrated punch than fresh garlic. A more delicate dusting of the powder (or a tiny bit of roasted fresh garlic) could keep the cheese from tasting too much like a version of Lays potato chips.

The herbs seemed balanced, though, and those Traders Point grasses came through under it all. So my favorite way to taste the Garden Herb variety is to ask my fiancé Bowden to cook with it. My Love is a master with eggs, fried and scrambled. He mixes in a spoonful or two of this herby fromage blanc with eggs from the Traders Point farmers market. What he serves up is a rich, royal version of scrambled oeuf (the fromage is translated for the egg!). The dark orange yolks ease the sting of the garlic powder and the herbs and cheese melt delicately into the scrambled bits. A recent serving was so delicious, I cleaned the plate before I remembered to take a picture. I'll have to rely on my memory, and you can use your imagination to envision this and other tasty ways to incorporate Traders Point Creamery Fromage Blanc Garden Herb.

- Corrie


At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Corrie,
I am the cheesemaker at Traders point creamery. We recently received new garlic, which does seem to taste a little stronger. We are adjusting the garlic down a little. As with many products, the intensity of a flavor is usually only known after about 1 or 2 days, which can make it a little difficult at the time we make the product. I hope you will try another one soon and see if you taste the difference. Thanks for trying our product.



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