Tuesday, October 13, 2009

L'Ami du Chambertin - Better Eaten on the Sly?

*Life at the Cheesedreaming house has been a little hectic, and we had a delightful half round of L'Ami du Chambertin, a rare washed rind stinker from France waiting in the fridge for a thoughtful tasting. Granted, it was starting to stink up the fridge, but at no point did I tell Darling Husband that he could take this untouched nugget in to eat at the office! Today, I get a text telling me that he had taken in the cheese! Grrr. But, rather than get mad that I didn't have a chance to really enjoy this beautiful cheese, washed in brandy, ripening from the outside in, and hailing from Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy, his punishment was to write up the story of his snack, eaten on old bread and saltines. Here is his story.

"L'Ami du Chambertin is a cheese of a feather, meaning it is soft with an orange, wrinkled rind (don’t be afraid). It is said to be the stronger brother to the famed Epoisses de Bourgogne of France. Despite it’s royal heritage it’s not to be feared by any real lover of fromage. Sure, it’s strong. Stinky too, and creamy like butter wishes it could be. This stuff is so velvety, it’s a must spread. The ‘friend of Chambertin’ is a friend to all who love richness and creaminess. Do not miss this one!

The way I came across it may have been a little nefarious, and it was not eaten in the best of circumstances, but it was worth it! If you like soft, spreadable cheeses, prepare yourself for a flavor that will go from a textural experience, to a taste, to a smell all through your mouth. The pleasing flavor goes through the roof of your palette into your nostrils. More than barnyard-y. More than dairy. A bit eggy? The taste comes through on your nose, more than on your tongue. Its strength is in its richness, and that’s where the real delight is. Smooth on the tongue no matter what it rests on, a cracker or a piece of dry bread. Yes, it’s that creamy!

I came across this sovereign because I dared to take my wife, auteur of this blog, a bit too seriously. She’d worried out loud that about how long we’d let it sit, and mused that it might possibly be out-living it’s welcome in our fridge. Seeing this as an opportunity, I heisted it one morning as I ducked out to work. I admit that eating with such royalty, at your desk at work, would get you shunned in any European court. But, this concoction aux cow is so delicious that it deserves the respect of a plate, good bread, and a wine with a body to it. I had it with old bread and apple slices, greedily! I got in trouble for it too! Taste this precious Frenchie and you’ll understand!"

(Please feel free to suggest further forms of punishment for the gluttonous behavior exhibited here by Darling Husband. Somehow, eating 4 oz of amazing French cheese alone requires slightly more punishment than getting to write about it...don't worry - he's not sleeping on the couch!)


  1. Where does one get this Friendly cheese? Will it go home with me if I buy it a drink?

  2. Where can one come by this friendly cheese? Does one have to buy it a drink first, or can one just invite it home to see one's etchings?

  3. Apparently, it's pretty easy. It'll spread itself over a stale Saltine, but it prefers a bit of baguette and some Burgundy. You can also pick it up at Andrew's in SM.