The Art of Fromage: Exploring the Cheese Selection at Jacques Brasserie
Classic Cheeses With Regional Charm
Given its dominance, even in the era of dairy-free alternatives, it’s no surprise that the cheeses most people are familiar with are made with cow’s milk. Its balance of proteins and fats gives cow’s milk a surprising versatility – consider the different textures and flavors of cheddar and mozzarella, both made with cow’s milk. Let’s explore the cow’s milk cheeses at our Upper East Side French restaurant.
Tomme de Savoie
Hailing from the French Alps and Switzerland, Tomme cheeses can be made from unpasteurized cow’s, sheep’s, or even goat’s milk. Its flavor palette actually shifts throughout the year, depending on the changing diet of the animal producing the milk. As they are made after the cream has been removed to make butter, they are generally a low-fat option.
Made in the Savoie region, the semi-firm Tomme de Savoie is one of the most popular Tomme cheeses, with a delightfully complex nutty flavor that has notes of citrus, grass, and mushrooms. It pairs well with bread, fruit, sausages, and a glass of red wine or as a prelude to a balanced dish like our French restaurant’s Oven-Roasted Half Chicken with sauteed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes.
The washed-rind cheese can be a minefield for the new explorer. These pungent cheeses usually feature a sticky or moist reddish-orange rind and an aroma that doesn’t exactly whet the appetite.
However, they are well worth pushing past the first impression for the mouth-watering flavors that lie within. While these cheeses are aging, the rinds are washed several times with a brine, which fosters a hospitable environment for the bacteria that develop the cheese’s flavors.
Our semi-soft Golden Gate cheese is a perfect introduction for the uninitiated that will be appreciated by connoisseurs, too. The bold, savory flavor can be overpowering but is a match for a Boeuf Bourguignon or our Jacques Burger, made with certified Black Angus beef. Explore our menu or visit our French bistro on the Upper East Side and experience the dish yourself.
A Journey Beyond Familiar Flavors
No French bistro on the Upper East Side should limit the cheese selection to cow’s milk alone. The French talent for cheese extends past cow’s milk to include sheep’s milk and goat’s milk innovations. A cheese board is incomplete without at least one alternate milk cheese – and our Assiette de Fromages gives you two outstanding options.
Sheep’s milk is even higher in protein and fat than cow’s milk, which makes for rich, creamy cheeses. Produced in France’s Basque region in the Pyrenees Mountains, Petit Basque is made using traditional cheese-making techniques.
This semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese is relatively mild, with a smooth, sweet flavor and a nutty finish. This lends it to a variety of dish pairings, from the Omelette au Fromage with Swiss cheese and Madrange ham to the savory flavors of Boeuf Bourguignon.
Goat’s milk has the least fat and lactose, so goat cheese – or chèvre – has an extra attraction for those with dietary restrictions. Humboldt Fog is a semi-soft goat’s milk cheese known for its outer coating of edible ash.
Ash-ripened cheeses are coated with a light layer of ash to boost the growth of the good molds used to ripen cheese, resulting in herbaceous, floral notes and a citrus finish. For those seeking a culinary contrast, follow up this cheese with some Steak Tartare made with certified Black Angus beef or a fresh Salade Nicoise.