"The doyen of Normandy cheeses"
Isigny Sainte-Mère Pont l'Évêque is a soft, washed-rind cheese made using the finest of Normandy cow's milk. Its creamy paste has a pale yellow color. The rind is washed with salt water prior to maturing, giving Pont l'Évêque its distinctive orangey color.
Pont l'Évêque's has a very rich, creamy, full-bodied taste and aromas of hazelnuts. Often enjoyed as a dessert cheese, pairs well with a robust red such as Bordeaux, or Riesling. Finish your meal off on a luxurious note by pouring a glass of wine and nibbling on Pont l'Évêque with fresh figs.
"It...requires skill and patience to make this cheese, paying attention to fine detail, like a goldsmith." Pont l’Évêque has been protected by the Protected Designation of Origin since 1996, and therefore is crafted with the same great care and skill as when it was created in the 12th century by Cistercian monks. Pont l’Évêque is one of the oldest French cheeses that is still being produced!
It all starts with ultra high-quality Normandy cow's milk, which is "distinguished by [its] exceptional richness, high fat content, high levels of protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins." The milk is heated and rennet is added. Once the milk has fully coagulated, the curds are cut and the whey is drained. The cheeses stay in their traditional square molds after four days and are then salted. On the seventh day, the cheeses are washed with salt water. The cheeses are then transferred to a cellar to ripen, where they are turned by hand each day. Pont l’Évêque is aged for anywhere between 13 days to six weeks. The aging process is overseen by a master cheesemaker, who continuously watches for correct development of the rind and paste.
What makes Pont l’Évêque and all Isigny Sainte-Mère cheeses so exceptional is the Isigny terroir. The Isigny region used to be a large wetland. In the 16th century, the sea retreated, leaving a rich clay soil in which green grass grows abundantly. The cows that graze on these mineral-rich pastures have been known to produce exceptionally fine milk. The cattle graze for at least 7 months of the year and their milk is used within 48 hours of collection. In addition to crafting their cheese with the finest milk, Isigny Sainte-Mère cheesemakers use traditional cheesemaking techniques to ensure the exceptional quality for which Isigny is known.
Click here to learn more about Isigny Sainte-Mère's beloved French cheeses!