Fromage Blanc: The Creamy French Cheese Perfect For Indulgence
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Fromage blanc, also known as "white cheese" or "maquée," is a fresh cheese originating from northern France and southern Belgium. It is made from either whole or skimmed milk and cream, resulting in a creamy, semi-fluid, and viscous paste. This cheese is known for its versatility and various culinary applications. It serves as a versatile canvas for both sweet and savoury creations thanks to its velvety smoothness and subdued tanginess.

Fromage blanc is a monument to the skill of creating fresh cheese, whether it is eaten on a crusty baguette, added to mouthwatering sweets, or simply savoured on its own. Fromage blanc can vary in fat content depending on whether cream is added. While pure fromage blanc is virtually fat-free, cream is often incorporated to enhance flavour, sometimes raising the fat content to as high as 8% of the total weight.

French cheese fromage blanc is unaged and has a tangy, yoghurt-like scent with a thick, spreadable texture that can resemble anything from sour cream to Greek yoghurt to more fluffy and dry cheeses like chèvre. In order to create lactic-set, bloomy-rind cow's milk cheeses, they are additionally matured for a few weeks. When making this cheese, whole milk, skim milk, or cream can be used to increase the fat content and give the cheese a softer, silkier texture.

How Is Fromage Blanc Made?

Warming pasteurised milk and adding starter cultures and a tiny amount of rennet to it in the cheesemaking vat causes the milk to become acidified and coagulate into curd. The milk is given time to ferment because this is a fresh lactic-set cheese, usually overnight. When the curd has a gel-like texture but is still reasonably soft, it's time to drain the cheese.

To let the whey drain off, the cheese is scooped into cheesecloth or butter muslin, knotted, and hung. Depending on whether you want a smooth, spoonable texture or a dryer, moldable texture, draining could take anywhere from six to twelve hours. Salt is added to the cheese after it has been adequately drained. It is common to combine dried herbs, spices, dried fruits, fruit preserves, or other flavours.

Fresh goat cheese can be used in its place if you can't find fromage blanc, but bear in mind that it usually has a drier texture and a stronger flavour than fromage blanc. It can also be substituted with other fresh cheeses derived from cow's milk, such as well-drained ricotta or cream cheese.

This versatile cheese can be added to omelettes, mixed into casseroles and baked goods, spread on bread, toast, or crackers, or spiked with herbs, spices, or fruit preserves to produce dips and spreads. A cheese board would be an excellent place for fromage blanc, which goes well with honey, almonds, fresh or dried fruit, lemon curd, and other sweet-tart accompaniments.

Storage Instructions

Keep fromage blanc in its original container in the refrigerator's coldest section. To prevent fromage blanc from drying out in your refrigerator's drying air, it's a good idea to store it in your cheese drawer if it is wrapped in cheese paper rather than being sold in a plastic tub.

Fresh cheeses have a shorter shelf life than hard cheeses, usually five to ten days, or within roughly seven days of opening. A spoilt milk odour and possible white mould growth on the surface of the fromage blanc indicate it is beyond its prime.