Pont l’Eveque and National Hazelnut Day

June 1, 2009

Today is National Hazelnut Day…who knew…and, for the most part, who cares??? Well, my guess is the Hazelnut Growers Association, which most likely came up with the idea to immortalize today…

Therefore, in honor of this esteemed day, I declare today Pont l’Eveque Day…

Why you ask?  It’s simple; Pont l’Eveque tastes a bit like hazelnuts…voila…

Pont l’Eveque is made in the Normandy region of France and according to Wikipedia.org, is quite possibly the oldest Norman cheese still in production, dating back as far as the Twelfth Century. It is believed to have been invented by Monks in an Abbey…why am I not surprised??? Those Monks had lots of time on their hands…so to speak…and came up with some amazingly divine cheeses, beers and liqueurs. I have discussed this in a previous blog entry and my thoughts about Monks with time on their hands. I suspect that entry was in part responsible for the banning of my blog by the fine people at DPI…but I digress…

Pont l’Eveque is an uncooked, unpressed cheese shaped in squares of three sizes, which is one of the requirements for its AOC-designated status. The square The Lady brought home for me to sample was in a little 2 ½ inch square bamboo box. On the top of the box is a picture of Marie Harel, who is credited with inventing Camembert Cheese “back in the day” (1791 or around that time). 

The Lady let this cheese sit out and it began to fill the kitchen with an earthy, pungent, yet pleasant smell, as is to be expected from a washed-rind cheese. Inside was a creamy, pale yellow pate with a smooth texture. The rind was a bit on the orange side and when she pressed her finger into its top, it showed some elasticity. In addition to the hazelnut overtones, there was the taste of mushrooms and very pleasing on the palate.

The Lady served Pont l’Eveque with Beecher’s Hazelnut Crackers to further celebrate this important holiday that every hazelnut grower in Oregon  is enjoying while drinking a glass of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar.  

If you haven’t planned your evening, it’s not too late to raise a glass and enjoy National Hazelnut Day with a square of Pont l’Eveque, a cheese as popular in France as any Brie, Camembert or Roquefort.

I give Pont l’Eveque 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got). I like this cheese; but I must confess it is not Epoisses

Serving Suggestions: Serve at room temperature on Beecher’s Hazelnut Crackers and a few slices of apples.

Wine Pairings: French Condrieu, Champagne, Gamay, Calvados

Beer Pairings: Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

Source: Pasteurized Cows’ Milk

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