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If you looked up “French cheese” in the dictionary, there’d be a picture of Maroilles. It’s everything quintessential about fromage: the sticky, orange rind; the pudgy, cream-colored paste; the funky, slightly fermented aroma; and the fantastic umami flavor of mushroom and lemon. This is, indeed, quite a prototypical cheese, down to its origin myth of being developed a thousand years ago by a monk in northern France. Maroilles is a cheese’s cheese, the kind that is respected by any good turophile.
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Just the Facts
Farmhouse Ales & SoursFarmhouse, Saison, Bière de Garde, Lambic, Sour Beer
Farmhouse ales, instead of being driven by malt or hops, depend on the yeast for their distinctive spicy, floral, and tart flavors. Commonly made by brewers in France and Belgium, farmhouse ales are usually light in color and body and quite effervescent. From time to time, brewers allow wild yeasts to ferment the beer, resulting in a brew that falls somewhere in between pleasantly bright to bracingly sour.
Pair with: Mushroomy Brie Fermier or funky, bacony Epoisses are matches made in heaven.
Sauvignon BlancTypically bright and lemony, with clean citrus flavors. Can also have grassy and vegetal aromas (think green bell pepper).
Sparkling WineChampagne, Cava, Prosecco, anything with bubbles!
Pair with: The effervescence of Sparkling Wines makes for a great pairing with richer, fattier cheeses that coat the mouth: think La Tur and Brunet, or a triple creme like Brillat Savarin or Delice de Bourgogne.