WHAT IS COULOMMIERS?
It is a soft ripened, cow’s milk cheese that takes a little over a month to ripen. An ancient ancestor of brie’s, it has a fat content of 40% (much lower than a double crème 60% brie). While Coulommiers might sound like a low-fat version of brie, it raw milk form still tastes creamy and can have an amazing depth of flavor. However all non-pasteurized cheeses aged less than 60 days are illegal to import into the U.S.A. so good luck getting some.
WHERE IS COULOMMIERS MADE?
The town of Coulommiers is located in the northern part of Central France in Seine-et-Marne. It is the namesake of this disc of bloomy white cheese. The town was also home to a Knights Templar HQ and legendary wrestler André the Giant. Locals are called “Columériens” (which sounds like the name of an alien species in a science fiction movie).
FAMOUS MOVIES ARE INSPIRED BY ESCAPING FROM THIS TOWN !
Native son and French filmaker Luc Besson wrote both The Big Blue and The Fifth Element while a student in the town of Coulommiers. During an interview, when asked about his hometown, he said “You know Coulommiers?” Besson asks. “It’s deadly. You have to escape. Pen and paper were my only way out.” Moreover escape and the sea (which this town is very far from) are common themes in his movies. To see the trailer for one of the best action films ever made, click here.
WHAT CAN I PAIR WITH COULOMMIERS?
As with most cheeses in the brie family, white wines or reds from Bordeaux that aren’t too robust will work. But if the fromage is very ripe, go stronger with the wine. For cheese flights, if you live in the States look for some other soft ripened cheeses like brie or Delice de Bourgogne. Legally buying a raw milk Coulommiers will be difficult at best. French cheese boards can have some fun with a Livarot and a Chevrot if you want softer, more spreadable cheeses. International pairings like Appenzeller, Bitto or even a Tomme de Savoie can pair well.