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Scraping cheese: debunking cheese myths

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At Bleu et Persillé, advising on the right products and sharing our knowledge are part of our mission. These exchanges allow us to learn more about our cheeses and highlight the work and know-how of our producers. Question of the day: how well do you know your cheeses? To make sure, we asked our team to come up with 5 preconceived ideas about cheese that we’ll try to demystify!

1. Red wine is the best match for cheese

It’s not true! Despite popular belief, red wine should generally be avoided when enjoying certain cheeses. Indeed, the tannins present in most red wines can clash with the texture of certain soft cheeses, and can even give camembert a metallic aftertaste! It’s best to opt for a white or orange wine from the same region as the cheese you’re tasting.

2. Raw milk cheeses taste better

During pasteurization, the milk is heated to a certain temperature (65-73 degrees) to neutralize the pathogenic bacteria that can make cheeses potentially unfit for consumption. However, this heat treatment also depletes the milk’s natural flora of bacteria, yeasts and molds.

Although these microorganisms play a major role in creating aromatic complexity, there’s a whole range of cheese-making know-how that also comes into play. The cheesemaker’s work has a strong impact on the taste of the final product, whether through the choice of ferments used, mastery of the acidification curve, salting, maturing technique, etc. A poorly made raw milk cheese will not necessarily taste better than a pasteurized cheese. A poorly made raw milk cheese will not necessarily taste any better than a pasteurized cheese made with love and passion! ❤️

3. Creamy cheeses are necessarily fatter

Not only is this untrue, it’s often just the opposite! For example, our creamy Saint-Marcellin contains 22% fat, while a hard cheese like our Gouda aged 36 months contains 39%. During ripening, cheeses lose moisture, which increases their fat content. Watch out for exceptions such as triples crèmes or brillats, as these cheeses have cream added to them!

4. Cheddar is a low-end cheese

It’s not true! Although mass-produced by industrialists, cheddar has been made for centuries and has nothing to envy other European appellations. The problem stems from the excessive supply of this cheese in supermarkets. But that’s not where you’ll find the best Brie either. Come and taste Avonlea Cheddar or Presbytery Cheddar in the store to rediscover this UK specialty!

5. Tomme is a type of cheese

What do the following cheeses have in common? Tomme de Savoie, Fourme d’Ambert, Tomme de Kamouraska and Tomme fraîche? Answer: Not much! Yet all these cheeses are considered tommes. The term “tomme” has no clear definition, and its characteristics vary from region to region. Instead, use flavor profile, texture or milk type to describe cheeses.

Those were our 5 preconceived ideas about cheese, and we hope we’ve taught you a bit more! For more information, don’t hesitate to ask our team any questions you may have; we’ll be happy to answer them! ????