I love cheese almost as much as I love Gin…and that’s a lot!
I know the stuff isn’t particularly brilliant for the old waistline but I truly believe a little of what you fancy does you good – everything in moderation.
The other week I was kindly sent a few samples of delicious Camembert and Brie cheese by French brand, Le Rustique, to try, and I’m never one to turn down food, let alone cheese! A very talented fellow blogger, Karen Burns-Booth who writes Lavender and Lovage (a travel and food writer) has come up with 3 delicious recipes marrying Le Rustique together with English Honey – not a combination some might think of but trust me, it really works and cheese with honey is actually a very traditional accompaniment for cheese. You learn something new every day!
A bit about Le Rustique…
You have probably seen and heard of this brand of cheese before if you’re a fromage fan like me. I said Fromage, not Farage, don’t go all political on me now folks…
You can find Le Rustique in most supermarkets these days, sat upon the shelf in its distinctive little red and white gingham lined wooden box. The box makes the perfect vestle in which to bake one of their whole camemberts and they also look delightful in a homemade cheese and wine hamper. Hint, hint, hubster. It’s my birthday soon…
You can adapt the taste of the cheese to your own personal taste, from “young” to “mature”. Because the cheese is wrapped in a breathable waxed paper, if you leave it anywhere between 35 days and 20 days before the “use by date”, it’ll change the intensity of the flavour depending on how you like it.
Le Rustique cheese came about due to one man’s passion for authentic French recipes and flavours, combined with his love for cheese. In 1975, a Normandy dairy farmer called, Jean Verrier, developed the traditional recipe for his now famous, creamy textured Camembert. Since then, Le Rustique cheese-makers have maintained the same age-old artisan techniques and recipes to deliver these creamy cheeses, becoming the recognised brand that is seen in supermarkets across the land today.
The Normandy farmers Le Rustique work with mainly run family farms, with around 50 to 70 cows per herd.
The farmers lives revolve around the cows’ routine: milking times, moving fields, it’s all about the well-being of the cows. The well-being of the animals also plays a role in preserving the rich resources of Normandy.
The Le Rustique farmers monitor energy and water use to reduce the environmental impact. This respect for nature means that Normandy produces cheeses with a worldwide reputation, like Le Rustique Camembert.
Le Rustique Cheeses are in constant evolution, and each stage has its own distinct taste; the maturing process can be divided into three stages:
YOUNG: 35 days before the “use by date” – Firm texture and a light, fresh flavour (my personal favourite)
RIPE: 20 to 35 days before the “use by date” – Soft “melt-in-the-mouth texture with a distinctive almost mushroom flavour
MATURE: 20 days before the “use by date” – a creamy, runny and soft texture with a very pronounced and complex flavour.
The 3 recipes Karen has devised using Le Rustique and Honey are;
They all sound utterly delicious (my tummy is rumbling just reading the recipes) and I have bought the ingredients to make scones this bank holiday weekend. Hopefully I will do Karen’s recipe justice!
What did I do with my Le Rustique samples?
I scoffed them all, that’s what.
No, on a serious note, I really enjoyed this cheese. I often buy it anyway, I like the flavour of it a lot, and I did a couple of different things with my samples.
The Brie I used in a Brie and Cranberry toastie, a very indulgent lunch but it was a rare treat for us, normally only reserved for Christmas time in our household. A bit like pairing the cheese with the honey, the sweet and savoury combination of a Brie and Cranberry sandwich is a real delight.
With the whole Camembert, we had another cheeky treat and I made breaded baked camembert with it.
I simply unpackaged the camembert straight from the fridge, dipped it in some beaten egg to coat the outside and then coated the Camembert in some breadcrumbs and fried it for a couple of minutes each side in a little butter. Once golden on both sides, transfer the breadcrumbed camembert to a baking dish and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180’c (fan).
I served the cheese with a little rocket salad, toasted fresh bread, some honey butter and some cranberry sauce.
Indulgent but truly scrummy.