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Dec 15, 2013

On the Fence: Taupinette

THE STORY:

Leave it to my 17 year-old visiting nephew to take something as innocent as a railing and make it, well, less innocent.


While visiting the marvelous, somewhat-hidden courtyard of the Hotel de Sully (not a hotel, but rather a 17th century mansion), he suddenly starts cracking up and taking photos of a railing. I can't see why at first, stodgy old lady that I am. Then it clicks. Oh. That.


And now, of course, I can't see anything else. So I feel compelled to snap two of the manliest men I know -- my husband and a visiting friend, James -- in front of the manliest fence I know.

 
THE CHEESE: Taupinette
 
Taupinette, which is a smaller version of Taupinière, is yet another relatively new cheese. I'm beginning to think that of the 246+ cheeses that de Gaulle was talking about, half of them are no longer made and have been replaced by another couple hundred new cheeses. It's like a revolving door of cheeses throughout history. Which kind of makes me wonder what the lost cheeses tasted like.
 
But at least I know what Taupinette tastes like: it's a very hard ball of cheese, so I assumed it would be dry and crumble into shards. It turns out that it's creamy enough to cut through, and it melts in the mouth. I like it much more than I expected, and it tastes just a bit grassy with very subtly hazelnut tones and a tangy finish. It was first produced in 1973 by one single farmer, Gilles Jousseaume, in St. Estephe in Poitou-Charentes on the mid-Atlantic coast, who still holds the registered trademark and is the sole producer. The raw goat milk's cheese is aged for around four weeks in a rind of natural molds and charcoal powder, and the end result is a beautiful, snow-white cheese with a speckled black-and-white crust.
 
 
The word "taupinière" means "mole mound", which balls up on top of the grass. So that makes "taupinette" small mounds. This Taupinette is about fist-sized.
 
 
 THE CONNECTION:
 
I buy this cheese simply for the fun of this picture, to match the fence. Do I enjoy staging the photo? Yes, I have a ball... 
 
 

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