Boulette d’Avesnes (FRANCE)

Boulette d'Avesnes (FRANCE) - Cheese Origin
Country of OriginFrance
RegionFlandre-Hainaut, Nord-Pas-De-Calais
ClassificationFresh cheese, semi-soft
Age2 to 3 months
MilkPasteurized cow’s milk
Fat content45%
Weight200 to 300 g (7 to 10 oz)
Diameter7.5 cm (3 inches)
Height10 cm (4 inches)
RindWashed, flavor-added
AromaStrong, intense, sharp, pungent, stinky
TasteMild, spicy, herbaceous
PairingFull-bodied red wine (Cahors), gin, beer
TextureCreamy, smooth
ColorReddish hue
ProducererPont du Loup, Fauquet, Leduc

In the past, this fermier cheese was made exclusively from buttermilk; these days, it is made with the fresh curds of Maroilles and mashed with parsley, tarragon, cloves, and pepper.

Boulette d’Avesnes is shaped by hand, rind wash with beer, dyed with peppery annatto, and dusted with paprika.

What is the History of Boulette d’Avesnes

Boulette d’Avesnes is a distinct cow’s milk cheese that originated in Avesnes, a village on the French-Belgian border. It’s known for its unique flavor profile that includes parsley and pepper.

The cheese has a rich history dating back to the 15th century. It is also referred to as the “devil’s suppository” due to its distinctive cone shape. This name is probably best left untranslated.

Originally, the cones of cheese, or boulettes, were made from buttermilk as a by-product of butter making on farms. Today, it’s often sold fresh.

The cheese is characterized by a strong smell and profound taste. It’s traditionally flavored with tarragon, cloves, parsley, and other spices. The cheese matures for 2 to 3 months before it’s ready to be enjoyed.

Boulette d’Avesnes Tasting Notes

The paprika from the rind gives it a hot peppery bite, while the semi-soft, ivory-colored paste adds a spicy, herbaceous, and sharp flavor.

How to Enjoy (PAIRING)

Food pairings:

  • Fruits: Pair it with fruits like pears, apples, or grapes to balance out the cheese’s strong flavor with their sweetness.
  • Bread: Crusty bread or baguette goes well with this cheese, providing a neutral base to let the cheese shine.
  • Charcuterie: You can also serve it on a charcuterie board with different types of meats.

Drink pairings:

  • Beer: A strong Belgian beer could stand up to the robust flavors of Boulette d’Avesnes.
  • Wine: A full-bodied red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a sweet white wine like a Sauternes could be an excellent match.

More Cheeses from France:

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