Eat This Cheese: Delice d'Argental
If you read this column regularly, you already know that I'm a fiend for triple-cream cheeses. I've walked miles to find them, driven hours to buy them, and flown overseas to eat them. What makes a triple cream so fantastic, you ask? It's the fact that extra cream is added to the cheese before the curds form, bringing the total fat content of the milk solids to a silky, creamy 75% or more. Yowza.
Of all the triple creams I've had in my travels, Delice d'Argental is possibly the most luxurious cow's milk cheese I've ever eaten, beating out its similarly named and textured cousin, Delice de Bourgogne. (It might even surpass my longtime favorite, Brillat Savarin.) The velvet qualities of this cheese are made possible by the addition of crème fraîche, providing not only an extra silky mouthfeel, but a seductive tang that plays on your lips like a careless whisper.
Aged enough, the flesh beneath the bloomy rind turns to a cloud of dairy fluff, nearing the texture of freshly-made whipped cream. Despite this softness, Delice d'Argental still packs a hefty punch of salt and mushroom flavor. Let it linger, and you might even catch a hint of sweetness.
I'd heartily recommend this cheese with a decadent bubbly, ideally a Crémant de Bourgogne, and maybe a handful of fresh blueberries or blackberries.
About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in San Francisco. Stephanie's cookbook, Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, celebrates America's favorite dish by recreating it with small production, specialty cheeses. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts.