Gres des Vosges: An Elegant Cheese

September 17, 2010

Gres des Vosges is a beautiful cheese that seduced me in the cheese shop.  This is not a casual picnic cheese or one for a day-hike.  Gres des Vosges is a visually elegant cheese that seems more “special occasion” than everyday fare.

Gres des Vosges

Gres des Vosges is a soft, washed rind cheese from the Alsace region of France.  Gres des Vosges has a small oval format and is pre-packaged in a wood box.  It is made with pasteurized cow’s milk by Maison Fischer.

Gres des Vosges’ appearance evokes autumn and seasonal change.  It has a light orange rind that is gently lined and decorated with a single dried fern.  The rind’s surface looks as if it has been sprinkled with granulated sugar.  The interior paste of the cheese is yellow-white and looks wet and gooey.

Gres des Vosges has a pungent smoky aroma that is unpleasant.  Both kids compared the odor to cigar smoke.

The cheese has both sweet and sour milk flavors.  The cheese finishes salty, yet its sour milk flavor lasts long in the mouth.  Gres des Vosges’ texture is smooth, creamy and a bit runny near the rind.

Gres des Vosges is a delicious cheese.  One of my juvenile tasters did not like this cheese, but the other did and was happy to get his brother’s discarded sample.  Once the rind of Gres des Vosges is penetrated, the whole cheese collapses a bit and gets quite messy.  We opted not to eat the rind, and separating the cheese from its rind required some handy knife work.

Gres des Vosges is such a visually appealing cheese that it almost demands sharing with friends.  Its small format is the perfect size for four, 1-ounce servings.  Its packaging also makes it a good cheese to take to a party as a hostess gift.

Notes on purchasing:  Gres des Vosges is purchased as a whole cheese; be prepared to eat the whole cheese in one sitting.  Our purchase source was Country Cheese (San Francisco).

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