Friday, June 15, 2007

Brillat-Savarin

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a 19th century gastronome, was sort of the Ur foodie. As the first modern writer on cookery to gain global fame, his culinary observations have influenced generations of food writers.

It’s no wonder he was honored by having a cheese named after him. After all, Brillat-Savarin was the man who once wrote, "a meal without some cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.” Quips like that earn the lasting affection of cheesemakers the world over.

Henri Androu√ęt, a cheesemaker as well as the owner of one of the most famous fromageries in Paris, created Brillat-Savarin in the 1930s. Today, his son Pierre carries on the tradition, along with just a couple of other producers.

This is a triple-cream cheese, as luscious as you can imagine. In the initial curd-forming stage of production, warm, viscous cream is added to the milk to boost butterfat content to 75% or higher. It is always served young, just past the curd stage without much ripening at all.

However you like it, just indulge in this one, if you can find it. And stop worrying so much about your arteries.

PAIRINGS: This is a dessert cheese, par excellence. Rich, sweet, creamy, it works best with the juiciest, sweetest berries and melons you can find. Many people like to balance it against Champagne or other sparkling wine. I would go in the other direction--serve it with a sweet white dessert wine, like a late-harvest Riesling.

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