There’s an apocryphal story starring this unassuming looking cheese – so pungent, so stinky when its scent is allowed to waft through the air, it was apparently banned from being transported on the Paris Metro. There’s no truth behind it, of course, as Epoisses has always been considered one of France’s greatest traditional cheeses. But it’s a great story nonetheless. AOC protected – meaning that only certain areas in France can make Epoisses as we know it – this washed rind cheese is practically French royalty. Even Napoleon was a fan of this rosy beauty. And you can find it at Murray’s!
This unctuous, pasteurized cow’s milk round comes far from Burgundy, France to join us in our shops, and we’re glad it made the trip. This cheese dates back to the sixteenth century, and was popular all the way up until the early 1900s, when over 300 farms were making Epoisses. But when the Second World War hit France, production almost completely died out. It was nearly a decade after the war had ended before Epoisses was made again. Now, the cheese is just as treasured as it once was, returned to its pre-war glory.
To get its signature funk, this cheese’s curd are carefully hand-ladled into forms, then dry salted. Taking a turn in a French cave, it is washed daily in a mixture of water and a pomace brandy, which helps to develop its signature funk and rosy orange complexion. Flavorwise, it adds bacony, woodsy notes to each delectable bite.
When Epoisses arrives stateside, it has only been aging for a month or so, and should be so gooey and creamy that you can practically slurp up the paste. This custardy bacon bomb even gets shipped in a little wooden box – all you have to do is simply slice into the wheel, then spoon onto a crusty baguette. Or just start dunking into the paste – you’ll be happy you did. A fairly photogenic cheese, right?