D’Affinois cheese – the incredible French innovation – has been described in many, many ways by many, many fans. Creamy, buttery, light, whipped, silky, tangy, oozy, soft… we could go on, and on (and we have!). But the utterly fantastic taste is only one reason that we j’adore d’Affinois, and why we think you will, too.
Why We J'Adore D'Affinois Cheese
Before we can get to why we love d’Affinois cheese, we need to dive into how it is made, because everything we adore about it comes from that unique process. At its basic level, d’Affinois is a pasteurised, soft-ripened French cheese that falls into the double-crème category. But that description could be about any number of cheeses. And d’Affinois is much more than that.
D’Affinois is made using a process called ultra-filtration. It is somewhat similar to homogenisation. With this process the water is slowly removed from the milk condensing it into the paste that will ultimately become cheese. During that process the fat molecules (and protein and other nutrients) are slowly dispersed throughout the remaining cheese meaning as the liquid is slowly condensed away. So, while we lose the liquid, all the cheesy-making, nutrient-rich goodness remains.
The result is the stunning d’Affinois, and the process creates everything that we love about it.
The ultra-filtration process creates a concentrated ‘paste’ that has all the fat, protein and nutrients, with less of the water. And the more concentrated the ‘paste’ becomes the more rich, fatty and creamy the cheese. What this means is that d’Affinois cheese is the ultimate gooey, oozy, rich, delectable cheese. Incredibly mild, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s closer to butter than brie, though in our minds it’s the perfect marriage of both.
Ultra-creamy, smooth and intensely ‘cheesy’, d’Affinois tastes the way you’d imagine the simplest, yet truly cheesy cheese should. There are no added elements, no moulds (unless you try the D’Affinois Bleu, which you should!), or yeasts and it isn’t subjected to years of aging. Imagine you meet someone who has never tasted cheese before (awful, we know). D’Affinois cheese would be an excellent choice to introduce them to cheese for cheese’s sake. Simple and perfect.
Of course, the process leads to other benefits, too, and texture is one of them. D’Affinois boasts a flawless rind that is sweetly flavourful and fully edible. Encased within that rind, the cheese has a runny, oozy texture that coats your knife like buttercream icing, stretching as you pull it towards the cracker (or directly to your mouth!). And it is eminently spreadable while still maintaining enough structure to give us that intense satisfaction of bite.
D’Affinois cheese falls into the double-crème category in terms of the amount of milkfat that remains in the cheese itself. But in terms of sheer creaminess, it’s more akin to a triple-crème. It is truly that luscious and gorgeous.
Because it is so creamy, d’Affinois cheese pairs well with the crisp, dry wines (think Rieslings) and champagne and sparkling. Those almost bitter celebratory bubble cuts through the rich cream in a way that enhances both. It is excellent on crackers and breads, particularly dark ryes, and rich fruit breads. And it pairs exceedingly well with fresh fruit (having a whipped cream component) and dusky, tart olives.
When building the perfect charcuterie board with d’Affinois cheese, we suggest:
- Wine, Brockenchack 2020 Mackenzie William 1896 Riesling
- Sour cherry spread
- Prosciutto and bresaola
- Dried figs
- Fresh black grapes
- Green olives
- Rye crackers
- Chocolate, Kokopod Chili Raspberry Grazing Chocolate
Cooking with d’Affinois
D’Affinois cheese is Australia’s favourite cheese. But it’s not often used in cooking. This is a shame because the creamy base taste and texture of d’Affinois lends itself perfectly to creating those rich dishes that we just adore as a nation. Here are some of our favourite recipes for d’Affinois:
- Potato Gratin (or tartiflette)
- Tartine (or open-faced toastie)
- Leveled-up bechamel sauce
- Ham and cheese croissant
- D’Affinois omelet
We could go on, and on. But if you haven’t given it a try yet, start with the melty goodness of an open-faced cheese toastie. Toss on some lovely off-the-bone ham and thinly sliced tomato, cover it with generous slices of d’Affinois and we promise you’ll have taken the humble toastie to new heights.
Don’t Forget the Blue!
We would be remiss if we didn’t take this opportunity to mention D’Affinois Bleu. D’Affinois Bleu has the same amount of creaminess and beautiful buttercream texture as its sister cheese, but with the added tangy and smoky flavours from the blue. We like to think of it as the older sister – a little more life experience, slightly more edge, but still sweet at heart.
This is a blue for the people who don’t necessarily love blue cheese, or who find some of the stronger varieties to be overwhelming or just too much. It’s a great first blue for kids, and perfect for a cheese platter that needs to appeal to a wide audience (we’re thinking family or kids’ parties!). The creamy texture, the tart blue flavour and the finishing sweetness make this a beautifully enjoyable cheese for all.
Region: Isère, Loire, Ain
Made from: Cow’s milk
Ageing: Two weeks