Soft, spicy, and sultry are what comes to mind when taking a bite of Fleur du Maquis (oh, and Dan the cheesemonger isn’t too bad either).
Whether it goes by Brin D’Amour (breath of love) or Fleur du Maquis (flower of the Maquis) this ewe’s milk cheese has something for every cheese lover. The cheese has been produced since the 1950’s on the Isle of Corsica in the south of France which is young as far as french cheeses go. Milk is procured from sheep that graze on the scrubby Mediterranean landscape and once the rounds are formed they are dusted with rosemary, savory, chili peppers, and juniper berries then aged one to three months.
In its young state, the pate has a bright white tone which mirrors the light and sweet flavor and pillowy smoothness while the edible rind adds a spark of texture and aromatics. As it ages, the hue changes to an off-white and the texture becomes more crumbly. The sweetness intensifies and has a little citrus bite and a little nuttiness comes through just under the rind.
Pair with a fruity white wine or light red or stick with some water with a slice of lemon and its a great summer cheese.
photo: the house mouse with a little help from Cheesemonger Dan of Morgan and York, Ann Arbor.