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New at Zuercher: Délice de Pommard

Hailing from Burgundy, France, Délice de Pommard is a light, but luxuriously rich triple crème cheese from Fromagerie Alain Hess.

The Hess family runs a retail cheese shop in Beaune, Côte-d’Or. The shop houses a selection of approximately 200 European cheeses along with wine, charcuterie and other delicacies. However, the star of the show is their house-made Délice de Pommard.

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Fromagerie Hess began in the cheese business with grandfather Otto Hess at the helm. Otto started their business with Emmental production, followed by his son René who moved the operation to Pommard, adding raw milk, cream and butter to their offerings. Grandson Alain is credited with the company’s modern marketing and branding, and after being promoted to Master Cheesemaker, created Délice de Pommard. Alain’s son, Charles, is the 4th generation Hess, and is preparing to carry the business into the future. Sounds much like the history of your favorite cheese distributor, Zuercher and Company, eh? Perhaps that is one of the reasons why we appreciate this new offering even more.

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(Charles Hess)

Délice de Pommard begins with whole cow’s milk and added cream, increasing the fat percentage to 72%. This is the minimum allowable percentage of fat (within the dry matter of a cheese) to be coined a “triple crème.” The handcrafted cheese is then wrapped in a cloth to absorb any excess moisture. One would assume that this much richness would result in a heavy, buttery cheese. However, the end result is lactic, light and fluffy, reminiscent of a mousse. Here, at the Zuercher office, we polished off every flavor in record time. If you can please this persnickety bunch, then you know it’s tasty.

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We have 5 flavors available:

Ail & Fines Herbes (Garlic & Herb) – The combination of garlic, chive, parsley and pepper is a crowd-pleasing classic. This would be terrific with crudité, buttery crackers or as a decadent spread on a sandwich.

Bourgeons de Cassis Noir (Black Currant Bud) – The bud of this tart and aromatic plant produces a unique woodsy, piney and juniper-type flavor. Although this may be a bit challenging to the average consumer, the Francophile, Scandinavian or Eastern European palates will appreciate its complexity. Try serving this as an apéritif alongside a martini or Kir Royale (créme de cassis and champagne cocktail.)

Son de Moutarde (Mustard Seed) – Crushed mustard seed is added to the mixture. The marriage of spicy grain mustard and rich cream provides a fantastic balance. Almost unanimously, this flavor was voted a staff favorite. Imagine serving this with a bit of dry-aged ham, fresh bread and a crisp farmhouse ale…out-of-control deliciousness.

Pain d’Épices de Dijon (“Spiced Bread”) – Although Dijon is in the name, this is not to be confused with Dijon mustard. However, Dijon is the capital of the Burgundy region and a culinary epicenter of France. A traditional spiced quick bread from the area includes rye flour, honey and spices (such as aniseed, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.) Alain Hess keeps the spice combination a bit of a secret and any obvious sweetness in check, but we enjoyed the bit of mystery. Pay homage to its origin by spreading on a bit of toasted rye points.

Truffe Noire d’Été d’Italie (Italian Summer Black Truffle) – Italian black truffles and olive oil give this version a perfumed and earthy flavor without being overwhelming heady. What about adding it to baked or whipped potatoes or tossing a dollop into risotto? Is it wrong that I am dreaming of dipping potato chips into this? Please don’t judge me.

Regardless of what your customers or fellow cheesemongers dream up for its uses, Délice de Pommard is sure to be a marketable addition to your case. It is available in a 100 gram (approximately 3.5 ounce) ball, packed in a small plastic shell to retain its moisture, freshness and shape. Each case arrives in a manageable 6 pieces per box.