Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Brousse - ricotta with attitude!

Brousse looks a little like a ricotta - a strikingly white, quite grainy soft cheese, which comes in a little pot, just the way it was formed out of the mould.
"Brousse" by VĂ©ronique PAGNIER - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

And it is a ricotta - a cheese made from the lactoserum, or whey as we'd say in English, that's left behind after the first chese has been made from a batch of milk.

But as you'd expect from a French cheese, it's got a bit of attitude. That's partly because it can be made from sheep's or goat's milk as well as cow's milk - depending on the location and type of cheese. There's even a single-variety Brousse, the Brousse du Rove, coming from the Rove race of goat, and made (unusually) with the milk rather than with the whey.

The Brousse I've been enjoying isn't a farm Brousse, it's just something we picked up in the supermarket. But it has that definite goaty edge. It comes over all creamy and fresh at first, with a slight citrus edge (very gentle, like a hint of lemon meringue), but then the goatier, stronger flavour kicks in, alongside the freshness. It all makes for a cheese which is light and refreshing, not mouth-clogging like a Brie, but which develops its taste in the mouth and deserves a slow appreciation.

Like fromage blanc, Brousse is often eaten with a little sugar. I like it with forest fruits - accompanied by the fruits, not mixed up with them - or on its own.

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