A few years back, a customer came to our shop wondering if we carried a cheese that she had tried at a gathering some days before. “I’m not sure of the name,” she said, “It looked like a Brie, but it tasted like the baby Jesus sliding down your throat in velvet pants.” I knew right away what she cheese she was looking for- D’affinois.
D’affinois is a gorgeous bloomy rind soft ripened cheese made by the Fromageris Guilloteau Company in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. It is rich and mild with a subtle smell that, although not offensive to even the most timid of eaters, lets you know that you are about to delve into something amazing. Yet above all, it is D’affinois’ luxurious velvety texture that has made this cheese so famous. The reason for that amazing texture is a process called ultrafiltration.
Ultrafiltration is when the milk is continuously pressed through a porous membrane in such a whey (har har) that all the large molecules in the milk, such as the fats and proteins, are left behind while the water is drained away. Before the cheese making has even begun, all the whey has been removed. Because of this, D’affinois only needs to be aged for about two weeks, unlike Brie and Camambert which need to be aged for at least four weeks. As a result, D’affinois lacks the earthy mushroom flavor of a traditional Brie or Camembert, and instead boasts a unique buttery freshness.
Another great thing about D’affinois is that it comes in many forms. At Dussa’s we carry no less than six different flavors and styles throughout the year. We regularly stock the traditional D’affinois, made of cow’s milk and always a hit a party.
We’ve also begun to regularly stock Bleu D’affinois, which is as rich and creamy as the traditional, but with few veins of blue that give this normally mild cheese a little kick.
Every so often we bring in Champagnier, a wash-rind version of the traditional D’affinois. As D’affinois is aged, it is gently washed with a salt water brine that shakes up the tasty bacteria to create a slightly smelly cheese with a bold orange rind. Champagnier is just a touch stronger than traditional D’affinois, and is a staff favourite.
New to Dussa’s is Florette and Brebicet, goat and sheeps milk versions of D’affinois so that our lactose intolerant customers can also indulge in this incredible cheese.
And finally, there is Secrete D’affinois, or how we at Dussa’s like to call, a little wheel of D’affinois for one!
D’affinois is definitely one of the hottest items sold here at Dussa’s Ham & Cheese. It is a guaranteed crowd pleaser that pairs well with charcuterie, nuts, and many different types of fruits.Yet it is just a fabulous all on its own!