My parents always said that the most inexpensive adventure is trying new foods. Love it or hate it, the financial risk is minimal and the result may turn into a new favorite flavor. I was a stubborn kid and didn’t take advantage of those cheap trips across the taste buds until I was thirty, but now I venture into the culinary unknown whenever I can. Of course, this includes foreign fromages. My most recent adventure takes me to the Jura region of Eastern France and Prefere des Nos Montagnes.
Jura is a wine-region known for its unusual distinctive wines and their most famous wine is Vin Jaune or “yellow wine”. Prefere de Nos Montagnes, which translates to “favorite from our mountain”, is made in this region using pasteurized cow’s milk and is half-pressed, giving it a farmhouse cheese look. An orange sticky washed rind encompasses the semi-soft interior and it has a faint aroma of hazelnut and fermented grapes, which makes sense. Prefere de Nos Montagnes is commonly used as a substitute for Reblochon, a banned unpasteurized cheese from the Savoie region of France.
The pungency of this cheese had me excited to taste, since I love my stinky cheeses, so I’m a bit disappointed that the flavor is more mild than wild. Sweet at first due to the rind then more beefy, Prefere de Nos Montagnes is a respectable cheese and I can see someone who is on the fence about funk appreciating it.
Prefere de Nos Montagnes does have a bit of a bite so pairing it with tart apples and a fruity white wine is best. I have heard that it is also good for melting so I am thinking I may try it over new potatoes and see how it fares.
Sadly, this fromage adventure did not result in a new favorite for the cheeseboard, but at $14.00 a lb. I feel I certainly got my money’s worth.