It doesn’t look like cheese it doesn’t smell like cheese and it doesn’t taste like cheese, so it’s easy to understand why people get confused about Fromage Frais. Yogurt like in its consistency, this French staple might be the most versatile cheese in the world, and can be used in place of yogurt, sour cream or even whipped cream.
We’ve changed our recipe and this “I can’t believe it’s not yogurt” cheese is better than ever. Changing recipes when making cheese is not usually like changing a cookie recipe where you may add more butter or less sugar. Changing a recipe in cheesemaking can be as innocuous as lengthening your ripening period, adding your starter culture when the milk is two degrees warmer or, as in this case, changing your pasteurization temperature. By altering our temperature, we’ve created a velvet smooth Fromage Frais with the consistency of whipped cream.
What makes our Fromage Frais better than others, or for that matter, better than yogurt? Freshness. Fromage Frais is a very simple cheese, there is no magic formula that makes one better than the other, so the difference comes down to subtleties. The thing I love most about it is that it has a fresh dairy taste, so to preserve and enhance that quality, we make it in extremely small batches (5 gallons at a time). The cows are milked Monday morning, the milk is pasteurized and bacteria cultures are added that day. The cheese then ripens overnight, is drained the next day and sent out to stores either tuesday or wednesday. This means that you can conceivably eat our Fromage Frais the day after it was still in the cow.
Try mixing some fresh Fromage Frais with fruit or preserves and spoon it over granola. Or you can add olive oil and fresh chopped herbs for a salad dressing, or use it in quiche, or smoothies or…okay you get the idea, this can be used many, many ways.
Just to give you a heads up as to what’s coming in February:
Chocolate gelato month – New once-a-year flavors like Chocolate with Balsamic Strawberries.
The return of the new improved Sharon Hollow. Fresh cow’s milk cheese with garlic and chives or garlic and telicherry black pepper.