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27 November 2006 @ 10:11 am
Pere Joseph  
My entry for work today -- I had this a while back in Austin. Good and stinky!

Père Joseph

The Belle of Belgium!

One whiff of this Belgian beauty will send your heart racing. A perfectly stinky cheese, Père Joseph is a Trappist-style fromage complete with a tender, mellow paste and pungent aroma. Belgium has a thriving and aggressive cheese industry; however, production is small in scale and export is limited. As one of a handful of Trappist-style Belgian cheeses sold in the U.S., Père Joseph represents its country well. Fundamentally Belgian in style, it bears influences from German, French, and Dutch culinary traditions; it smells like a Limburger, eats like a fine-tuned French cheese, and wears a mantle of wax like a Gouda.

Père Joseph never ceases to amaze with its dueling aromas and flavors. Born of pasteurized cow’s milk, this cheese reveals a supple, satiny body with a nutty, milky flavor to appease the palate after the aromatic onset. The finish keeps the senses guessing with its light sharpness and touch of salt. To achieve these fabulous flavors and aromas, Père Joseph is matured in a natural manner, sitting for over a month in a ripening cave before a brown paraffin rind is applied to slow the aging process.

While Père Joseph is a very popular dessert cheese in Northern Europe, it can be served before or after dinner, especially with Pinot Noir. It is delicious with winter ales for those looking for a savory switch from the sugary fare of the holidays. It also melts divinely to add flavor and depth to a variety of dishes.

Who was Père Joseph—or “Father Joseph” in English? He was a famous French mystic, Capuchin friar, and confidant of Cardinal Richelieu of the late 16th/early 17th century. Let’s hope that Father Joseph was not as strong-smelling as his namesake!

The Cheese Mistress