Rougette Bon·fire Grilling Cheese Review
"Summer-inspired selection of all-natural specialty cheese made just for the grill."
Swapping your typical summertime grilling foods--hotdogs, hamburgers, etc-- for cheese is an appealing concept. With the increasing number of people reaching for meatless options, Rougette Bon·fire Grilling Cheese is a vegetarian grilling option that isn't fake meat. I wanted to test it out and see if A) they hold up on the grill and B) if they are a worthy addition to your next summertime barbecue. I was also curious to see how these stood up to the original grilling cheese: Halloumi.
Rougette's official site says about the Bon·fire cheeses: "Easy to grill and equally at home at a down-home backyard barbecue or a sophisticated soiree, ROUGETTE Bon·fire Grilling Cheeses are the perfect addition to your grilling experience. An excellent grilling choice for vegetarians and cheese lovers alike..whether you toss them into salads, top a sandwich, serve them hot and creamy with crackers, or grill a real cheeseburger, the possibilities are endless." They are crafted with natural ingredients, lactose-free, gluten-free and RBST-free.
Rougette Bon·fire comes in two varieties: Mild & Creamy Soft-Ripened and Marinated. The marinated version comes in a ready-to-grill aluminum pan and is marinated in a savory blend of herbs and oil. Rougette claims these cheeses get crispy on the outside and melty on the inside when cooked on the grill. Luckily, I was able to get my hands on both types for just under $8/pack.
Mild & Creamy Soft-Ripened
Bon·fire Mild & Creamy Soft-Ripened cheese is a Brie that develops a crisp exterior when cooked directly on the grill.
One pack comes with two round pieces of cheese, each about the size of a typical burger patty. The shape and size are perfect for creating a melty, meatless sandwich.
I put the pieces of cheese directly on the grill with no oil, as the official website says that they will not stick or melt to the grill. I grilled them for about 4 minutes on each size. This was long enough to turn the cheese a beautiful golden brown. It was easy to remove from the grill with a spatula. I let it cool for 3-4 minutes and cut into it. The interior was definitely creamy and oozy, but not super liquidy and messy. It still stayed together while cutting which makes cleanup and recipe preparation easy. I enjoyed the cheese on its own to get the entire flavor experience, but Rougette provides many fun recipe ideas on their site such as Grilled Peach and Grilling Cheese Toasts with Fresh Mint and Honey, Grilling Cheese Sliders and Grilling Cheese and Portobello Mushrooms.
As the name states, the taste of this cheese was mild, yet delicious! The combination of the crispy exterior and melty inside was super satisfying. It was salty, but not as much as halloumi. I could see this cheese paired with cured meat such as prosciutto and it not being overwhelmingly salty.
Marinated Grilling Cheese is pre-marinated in herbs and oil and comes in a convenient pan for cooking. The Rougette website states that the cheese softens when cooking but stays together.
I threw the pan and cheese on the grill and it started bubbling away. I cooked it for about 5 minutes on each side. It got golden brown but it did not have the same crispy exterior as the soft-ripened, likely due to the fact that this variety does not have a rind.
I expected the cheese to turn out greasy because of the oily marinade, but there was not much remaining oil in the pan or on the surface of the cheese after cooking. Although it did not have the same crispy exterior and gooey inside as the soft-ripened, the golden brown crust still had a bit of a crunch to it. The texture of the cheese was firm yet creamy. Once slightly cooled, the cheese was easy to cut. The firmness and cutability of this cheese would make it a good addition in recipes such as skewers and salads. It has a nice herb flavor that is not overwhelming. Like the soft-ripened, it is not too salty. The aluminum disposable pan is a great addition, as the marinade would drip and likely catch fire if the cheese were placed directly on the grill.
Overall, both cheeses do stay together on the grill and develop a nice golden brown char typical of grilled food. The creamy yet crispy texture of the soft-ripened and the herb flavor of the marinated cheese is unique and differentiates these cheeses from Halloumi. I'd definitely serve these at a barbecue; their subtly-salty taste and satisfying texture is sure to impress your guests served on their own or in a summer salad. I feel as though these do not need to enjoyed only as an alternative to grilled meats, but can accompany them in recipes or as a side dish!