Epoisses – Berthaut Item #: FR750

  • Availability: Pre-Order
  • Milk: Cow
  • Country: France
  • Pasteurization: Pasteurized
  • Region: Cote-d'Or and Burgundy
  • Pack: 6/8.95oz.

Époisses was born in the Burgundy region of France in the 16th century. Napoleon is said to have had a particular fondness for this cheese. It seemed to be at the height of its popularity at the beginning of the 20th century. However, French cheesemakers struggled to keep up their dairies throughout World War II, and Époisses was almost forgotten by 1954.

At a point near-extinction, Robert and Simone Berthaut made it their mission to revive this classic French cheese, and Fromagerie Berthaut was born. Since then, there has been a resurgence of public interest in traditional European cheeses, and Époisses is now a staple offering at cheese shops worldwide. Robert and Simone’s son, Jean, has since taken the helm of Fromagerie Berthaut, leading them into the future.

Époisses and its milder cousin, Affidélice, start with whole cow’s milk from three PDO-approved breeds: Brune des Alpes, Montbéliarde and Simmental. The beautiful copper hue on the exterior of these cheeses is achieved by washing the wheels multiple times a week. Wheels of Époisses are bathed in Marc de Bourgogne, or brandy distilled from the skins, pulp and seeds of the grapes yielded from local winemaking. Later, the wheels are brushed by hand to evenly distribute the naturally-occurring bacteria and yeast on its surface. Affidélice is produced similarly, but with Chablis wine taking the place of pomace brandy.