Tomme d’Abondance or Abondance is a medium-sized mountain cheese from the Haute Savoie region of France in the Rhone-Alps. For centuries, this deep golden cheese has been made in mountain chalets, near the border between France and Switzerland. It is made exclusively from unpasteurised milk produced by the Abondance breed of cattle. Since 1990, the cheese has been enjoying the prestigious AOC designation. The handcrafted, wheel-shaped cheese, is made using traditional methods only in the geographical area specified by AOC/PDO label.
It has a strong smell and an intensely fruity, buttery and hazelnut flavour, with balance of acidity and sweetness, followed by a lingering aftertaste. Unearth an aroma of nutty vegetation as you slice the cheese. However, remember the crust including the grey layer beneath, should be removed before eating. Firm but supple and slightly grainy, the texture of the ivory-yellow pâté is creamy and velvety. Its rind is smooth with an amber colour showing canvas marks. The affinage takes at least 100 days (this one for 180 days! ) so all the subtle aromas are realized.
Abondance can be eaten straight off, or added to salads or melted in Berthoud.
Bleu des Causses is a French blue cheese made from milk of Montbeliarde and Aubrac breeds of cow. A close cousin to Roquefort, it is produced in the Languedoc region of southern France and was granted AOC name protection in 1979. Traditionally, the cheese was made from a mixture of sheep’s milk mixed either with cow’s or goat’s milk. But according to French cheese laws, the cheese came to be made exclusively from cow’s milk. Bleu des Causses has a high-fat content of 45% and is matured for at least seventy days. However, the cheese can also be matured for up to six months in Gorges du Tarn’s natural limestone caves to develop a full and fine flavour. The cheese is similar to Blue d’Auvergne in many ways, despite Bleu des Causses having a noticeably firmer, creamier texture and spicy flavours. Bleu des Causses produced in winter and summer slightly differ in texture and flavour. Cheeses made in winter are light in colour than their summer equals. The winter produce also tends to be slightly drier. A taste of the Bleu des Causses will proffer a blend of rich milkiness amidst the peppery and spicy notes of the blue mould. The summer produce brings out their unique grassy and clover flavours.
Mont d’Or has been called the holy grail of French raw milk cheeses. This cheese typical of Haut Doubs can be easily recognized in its spruce wood container. It is held in place by a spruce bark strap. Mont d’Or is a soft-ripened cheese made of raw cow’s milk. A spoon is used to serve this cheese because it has a very creamy texture.This cheese has the distinctive feature of being very seasonal. It is produced from August 15th to March 15th and can be sold from September 10th to May 10th. This production calendar originated with the limitations of the climate. The Montbéliarde breed of cattle produces a significant amount of milk during the warm season, but not as much in the winter. In the winter when the cows consume hay, they do not produce enough milk for the manufacture of such large cheeses as Comté. Also, in the past, snowy roads meant that gathering milk was almost impossible. The farmers of the region therefore learned to work on a smaller scale during the winter. They made the most of the cold period to create a new, unique soft-ripened cheese, Mont d’Or. This one is very rare and sourced from one of the best cheesemonger, Marcel petite, which sells to a limited number of partners.