Époisses is a soft-ripened, washed-rind cheese made with whole cow’s milk. It comes from the area around the town of the same name, within a zone that stretches over a large part of Côte d’Or and includes a few municipalities of Haute Marne and Orne.
It was probably a religious community living in Époisses in the 16th century who passed on to the farmers of this area of Burgundy the expertise necessary to make this cow’s milk cheese. The rind becomes sticky and begins to glisten as it is regularly washed with a mixture of salt water and Marc de Bourgogne. The maturation period lasts six to eight weeks.
This very creamy cheese is sold in a wooden box. Its rind is smooth or slightly wrinkly and shiny, of a colour varying from orange-tinged ivory to brick red depending on its degree of maturity. Its colour is light beige on the outside and white in the centre.
Flavours & sensory qualities
Its texture is very soft, creamy and smooth; the aroma is powerful and complex with earthy notes. The taste of Époisses is straightforward, distinctive and persistent; but not as strong as its aroma might lead you to believe. It should not be sharp or aggressive.
Smeared on crusty bread, with a glass of White Burgundy.