Pont l’évêque Better than sex?
- Producer - Le Conquerant
- Origin - France
- Milk Type - Cow
- Ageing - 6 weeks
You have to hand it to the monks of medieval times. For a bunch of guys sworn to a life of poverty and chastity, they certainly found plenty ways to have a good time! Now, no jokes about farmyard animals please, I am of course referring to their love of cheese.
Pont l’Évêque is believed to have been created by French Cistercian monks in the twelfth century, and according to the manuscripts of the time, was the only way any self-respecting man of the cloth would round off his evening meal. Back in those days it was actually known as Angelot (a term derived from the name of an English coin) because it was actually used as a means of payment and even tax. I’m not sure that would wash with the ATO these days…
The cheese itself has a delicious stinky washed rind that gives it a distinctly farm-like flavour. (Are the pieces falling into place yet?). Its Normandy roots make it the perfect partner for cider if you are looking for an alternative to wine.
And the best thing of all – you don’t need to take a vow of chastity these days to enjoy it, so dig in!
The pungent aromas of this delicious washed rind cheese will assault you as you unwrap its wax paper coating – you may feel as though you are standing in a stable-yard! The rind itself has a classic deep golden colour and funky notes of hay and horses, as well as the rich buttery flavours and a touch of salt. The interior is soft and melt-in-the-mouth with a rich creaminess and hints of hazelnut. Leave out of the fridge for a couple of hours to best enjoy its creamy texture.
FACT OF THE DAY
The wooden boxes used for this style of cheese are not just for decoration. The porous nature of the wood allows sufficient oxygen into the cheese to let it mature and ripen, rather than strangling it with plastic. It’s the perfect way to get the cheese delicious and stinky.
• Pinot Gris
• Off-dry Riesling
• Normandy Cider
• Rye Bread
Images courtesy of Will Studd