Snacking Cheese: Fromager d’Affinois

One of the questions a cheesemonger receives most often is, “What’s a good snacking cheese?” (Or, if you are a cheesemonger in Texas, you are more likely to hear, “Where do y’all keep y’alls’ snacking cheeses?”)  “Snacking” is a handy designation for cheese.  It can allow the cheesemonger a great deal of freedom and the opportunity to suggest a personal favorite.  The snack-cheese seeker usually brings a preference or two, naturally, but for the most part simply wants a not-too-strong, moderately priced cheese he hasn’t tried.

Before we delve into the details of what makes a good snacking cheese, let’s touch on some cheeses that I automatically exclude from this list.  Ricotta and farmer’s cheese are both fresh cheeses that are often used in cooking, but are not generally destined for a cracker.  Certainly there are preparations of each that go beyond lasagna (try sweetening some ricotta and serve it with strawberries for dessert), but neither is the ideal candidate for an afternoon of cheese-snacking.  I also try to avoid very strong cheeses for a snacking session (with a few choice exceptions), as they often require several balancing accompaniments to achieve the optimal experience and avoid flavor overload.

And now, for my first cheese recommendation, I offer you my favorite snacking cheese and perhaps my favorite cheese of all time:  Fromager d’Affinois.  Let’s call it FDA for short, and if the abbreviation bothers you, just imagine it stands for “Freakin’ delicious, alright?”  FDA is a French, cow’s-milk, double-cream brie, which means it has a lower fat content than the highly coveted triple-cream bries.  Generally, double-cream bries tend to be less buttery and not as rich as triple-cream bries, but FDA is a major exception.  Creamier, smoother, and more flavorful than any triple-cream, FDA is the ultimate brie.  It has no hint of ammonia, no bitterness, and no pungency that scares many the snack-seeker away from brie.

Image from Australia on a Plate Wholesale Cheese Supplier

There’s no need to pair Fromager d’Affinois with anything besides a crunchy baguette, but a bottle of sparkling wine and a crisp granny smith apple would complement nicely.

I’ve shared my favorite snacking cheese.  What do you like to snack on?  What kinds of cheese do you want to hear more about?

Until next week,

The Weekly Cheesemonger

Answers to last week’s poll:  Brie!  Brie has less fat than cheddar or gouda, and any other full-fat cheese (cheeses that are not made with reduced fat milk).  This is because brie is nearly 50% water.  Cheddar and other hard cheeses have had the majority of their liquid pressed out, leaving more cheese, and therefore a higher fat content.  When you see “60% butterfat” on a brie label, that really means the cheese is about 30% fat.  So snack away on that brie, guilt-free!


About Anna Scodel

I am a young professional living in Philadelphia with a passion for the environment and an enthusiasm for cheese. My background is in economics and sociology, and I am always eager to learn more about policy issues and discuss them over a nice gouda.
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6 Responses to Snacking Cheese: Fromager d’Affinois

  1. Cara says:

    NOM, I would like to eat that now…

  2. Graham says:

    I hardly think that because brie is 30% fat free you can snack on it guilt free!

    Also, I like to snack on cheddar and honey. Heavy on the guilt.

    • Anna Scodel says:

      Well, less guiltful. But yes point taken.

      Cheddar and honey, blue cheese and honey, goat cheese and honey, brie and honey. Honey is probably the most versatile companion to cheese (besides a cracker) and will have to have its own blog entry sometime!

  3. evelyn3432 says:

    So I took your sage advice and headed to the fine foods store – Central Market. They have lovely cheese-mongers there 🙂 Of course I had to wander the cheese selection solo because I can’t pronounce “Fromager d’Affinois.”

    The fancy French cheese is delicious! Buttery, creamy, smooth, mild. Perfect for pre-dinner snackin’. Thanks for the rec.

  4. Cara says:

    I tried to find it at Trader Joe’s but failed…NOOOO!!! I will need to try somewhere else I guess. Oh my woes. Request for a post coming soon: Cheese that Cara can slice! I am so ready to slice me some cheese.

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