Carre de l est, often pronounced as kar-RAY-duh-LEST is a soft cheese originating from Lorraine region of France. The salty, tangy cheese is distinguished by its mushroom and smoky bacon flavor. The cheese is normally sold in a small square sizes that’s why the name of the cheese translates to “Squares of the East” in chaste French. This cow’s milk cheese is aged from 5 weeks to 4-5 months depending on the requirement. In France this cheese is very popular and enjoyed everywhere. People from Lorraine equate this cheese with local camembert.
This cheese is not generally available in US but other than France it is popularly savored in Venezuela too.
Physical Characteristics of Carre de l est Cheese
During processing the Carre de l est is normally washed in brine which imparts orange-red color and pungent aroma to the cheese. The cheese has smooth texture which reminds of brie, but it’s even more buttery than brie. The pate of Carre de l est is very indulgent and unpressed. The cheese is allowed to ripen in cellars and after aging each piece is treated in hands to spread the colorful bacteria all over it. The colorful bacterium brings due color to cheese or sometimes the cheese is treated with bloomy mould. The cheese encompasses the fat content of 45% and has small holes in its center. The rind of the cheese is moist, elastic and very gummy as compared to other soft cheeses. Normally this kind of cheese tastes good when rind is covered with mould. Normally the cheese is infected from mould of Penioillium candidate. When the cheese is cut the paste oozes out from the rind and cheese in whole emanates rich and delicate but delicious flavors.
Wine and Food Recommendations for Carre de l est Cheese
This soft cheese can be teamed well with Sancerre, Pinot Noir d'Alsace, and Coteaux Champenois. The cheese can also be teamed with champagne because cheese connoisseurs say that the acid balance of the cheese perfectly synchronizes with that of champagne. Other than that the Carre De I est tastes good when teamed with figs, walnuts, pears and pecans.