Another "heavenly" soft ripened cheese from France bears it all in its name, which translates to "Caprice of the Gods". Its oval shape and blue packaging give Caprice des Dieux (Ca-pree-ez-day-diuh) a unique status among cheeses. The flavor of this cheese is pure, with the clean taste of cream, a meltingly smooth, soft center, and a flowery rind. A delight, that the whole family will appreciate for its delicious flavor and nutritional value. Caprice des Dieux is best served at room temperature, accompanied by light foods, such as fruits, along with light red or white wines. It truly shines on a piece of fresh French bread, and is a nice addition to any cheese platter.
Caprice des Dieux is the first French cheese ever to be produced in an oval shape. The distinctive shape, inspired by a famous French sweet, Calisson, was selected to convey the indulgent nature of the new cheese. Luxurious, soft, and buttery, Caprice des Dieux is a dense cheese that feels lush and melts easily on the tongue, yet does not have the liquid texture associated with Brie. The first bite of Caprice des Dieux is a new sensation of freshness. It has a clean taste with no trace of bitterness, a very creamy texture, and an intensely fresh mushroom and nut aftertaste. All this is contained within its velvety white skin. Caprice des Dieux is also a good source of calcium and is full of vitamins, minerals, and protein. (2.5 oz, or two small portions fulfill 30% of the recommended daily calcium requirements.)
Once the difficult war years were over, the French population aspired to find pleasure again in the consumption of high quality products. After five years of research, Jean-Noël Bongrain introduced the world to Caprice des Dieux. Officially launched in 1956, it was - and still remains - the most refined of cheeses. Its ovoid shape was a playful wink, that broke the uniformity of the circular and square boxes that filled the dairy shelves. Cloaked in a satiny skin that pleased the eye, this lozenge-shaped delicacy offered a uniquely smooth texture that distinguished it from other cheeses of that period, which were either too dry or too ripe. Fresh and velvety, its pure white heart delighted taste buds dissatisfied by the taste and texture of certain competitors that gave the word “cheese” a bad name. Its unique recipe, diamond shape, tri-colored brand identity and its name, quickly made Caprice des Dieux a food fit for the gods. No wonder Caprice des Dieux was met with great success, and the company quickly expanded its formats. In 1964, glory also arrived on the national level. The Minister of Agriculture presented Jean-Noël Bongrain with the Golden Cup of Best French taste ("Bon Goût Français") for his creation. Later on, while the consumer movement was experiencing its golden age with 50 million consumers, Caprice des Dieux was amongst the first ones to indicate the Best-Before Date on its packaging. Breaking the traditional rules of cheese consumption, Caprice des Dieux also suggested to consume fresh cheese for breakfast. What better way for children and adults alike to start the day than with a daily, optimal amount of calcium, phosphorus, vitamins and proteins? Over the years, Caprice des Dieux slowly became a part of French life. It still appeared at gourmet gatherings, but as the years went by, the oval box was included in the routines of daily life: lilies of the valley on May 1st, Christmas and Valentine’s Day gifts, Mothers’ Day, back-to-school, all the while the packaging changing to reflect the events.
For more than fifty years, the exclusive process of making Caprice des Dieux has taken place in the heart of the mountains of Bassigny, an area situated between the Vosges and Champagne regions in France. Caprice des Dieux is made in the factory in Illoud, in Haute Marne. The fabrication process is exclusive to Caprice des Dieux. Every day, the factory receives almost 80,000 gallons of milk. First the milk undergoes a thermal treatment to destroy the bacterial flora; then the standardization of fat content and maturation occur. Only natural ingredients, carefully monitored on a daily basis, are used. Once the milk is pasteurized, the cheese in made in four steps. Clotting: Under the effect of pressure and selected lactic acid ferments, the milk passes from a liquid to a solid state. Moulding: The "curd" is separated from the liquid (“serum”) during the curd-cutting and curd-stirring operations. The product is then "moulded" to give the cheese its characteristic shape. Draining: For several hours, the lactic acid ferments develop, promoting draining. The cheese is turned over several times. Salting: The purpose of this operation is two-fold: it improves the preservation of the product and assures a balanced taste. Ripening and Conditioning: The ripening process helps develop the cheese's specific and varied flavors. It also improves the texture, making it more velvety, and promotes the formation of the delicate white rind.