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For the past seventy years, Ile de France has brought the perfect alliance of quality and epicurean pleasure to its family of soft gourmet cheese products. In the time-honored tradition of French cheese masters, Ile de France's Brie and goat cheese products continue to be instantly recognized for their freshness and unique flavor by cheese enthusiasts, including the editors of numerous culinary magazines. Food & Wine and Fine Cooking recently awarded our cheeses top honors for freshness, flavor and quality.
Creamy, Rich Textures with Mild to Assertive Tastes
The Soft-Ripened Cheese Family may be divided into two sub-groups. They are: cheeses with Bloomy Rinds, characterized by a soft, white exterior; and cheeses with Washed Rinds, whose orange color, and strong aroma, clearly sets them apart. Both types have a supple and smooth paste with a creamy, rich flavor. The fat content, maturing time, and cheese making process all contribute to the outcome of the cheese.
The cheeses whose rinds have been washed share a special characteristic that makes them stand out among all others: It is the strong aroma that is formed when the cheeses are repeatedly washed with water, beer, wine, eau de vie, etc. After which, they begin the ripening process where the bacteria b-linens transforms the cheese into a smooth-textured, robust-flavored cheese.
Wide-Ranging Complex Flavors from Nutty to Piquant
Cooking and Melting Cheeses
These cheeses, typically large and very heavy, fall into two distinct sub-groupings; hard table or grating cheeses, and mountain-style cheeses. Both start from the same process. The curds, after forming, are cut up into smaller pieces, and then further heated to cause the release of excess moisture. The end result is some of the world's most popular cheeses.
Emmental and Gruyère are characteristic of the mountain cheeses; large and with the typical eye formation, which are formed during the long aging process where carbon dioxide develops and forms the holes. Grana Padano and Parmigiano-Reggiano are both grating-style cheeses. Their firm, hard texture and thick outer rind are a result of a ripening process that begins by soaking the cheese in salt-water brine for over 20 days.
Smooth, Rich Tastes to Bold, Traditional Flavors
America's Favorite Cheddars and Sandwich Starters
Pressed Cheeses comprise the largest and most popular Family, with a variety of textures and flavors. They range from smooth and rich tastes to bold and traditional flavors.
Once the milk has been heated and has coagulated, the cheese curds are drained from the whey and milled or cut up to further expel moisture. After being placed in the various shaped molds, the cheeses are immediately pressed and the aging process can begin. The length of time the cheese is allowed to age will greatly alter its flavor; the average length of time for aging cheeses can be five weeks to six months or more. Extra Aged cheeses can be aged two years or more.
Sharp, Creamy, and Robust Flavors
Blue-veined cheeses are mostly made from cow's milk, except for a few standouts like Roquefort, which is made from sheep's milk. To achieve the blue marbling, various Penicilliums are sprinkled in powdered form into the milk or over the curds. The Penicillium types vary depending on the desired cheese. During the ripening process, needles are injected into the cheese, creating holes that allow air to enter so that the mold can grow. Blue cheese needs long and careful aging in a temperate and humid environment to fully develop its strong character.
Blue Cheeses range in flavor from sharp to robust, and from a creamy to crumbly texture, depending on the age and style of the cheese. There are virtually no two blue cheeses that are alike; it is for this reason that each cheese needs to be judged individually, on its own merit, and on its own flavor.
A Variety of Flavors
World's Greatest Cheeses
This relatively new category is created by altering natural cheeses in some way to create a new and innovative product. Under its umbrella are cheeses that may fall into more than one Family or do not have a true classification of their own.
Some of the techniques employed in the manufacture of these cheeses are layering different cheeses together (such as Double Gloucester and Stilton), blending cheeses together (such as Gruyère and cheddar), adding herbs and spices or other flavorings, and smoking or pickling cheeses.
|Original Goat Cheese||Flavored Goat Cheese||Chèvre Chaud|
|Original Brie||Single Serve Brie||Flavored Brie||Blue Brie|
|St. Andre||Boursault||Suprême||St. Albray||Pié d'Angloys|
|Le Montagnard||St. Marcellin||Chaumes|
|Morbier||Doux de Montagne||St. Nectaire||Etorki||Raclette|
|Ossau Iraty||Crème de Saint Agur|
|Bleu d'Auvergne||Roquefort||St. Agur||Fourme d'Ambert|