Cheese and Sausage of Louisianne
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Louisianne is both famous for her cheeses and her sausages, many reminiscent of their European ancestors, many new creations of their own right.
Cheeses of Louisianne
The Cheeses of Louisianne are just as varied as those of France, with many of common heritage. While Louisianne has many local cheeses, the majority do not enjoy popularity outside of their region. Those that do are well worth noting.
- Kaskaskian Bleu (Bleu Kaskaskien): Originally made by a businessman only remembered in local lore as Bernard, this cheese, made from goat's milk, is formed with oak rings and left in thick-walled raffineries. These buildings, made from the local rock have walls nearly 3 feet thick and extend 30 feet into the ground, where the cheese is allowed to mature in semi-controlled temperature and humidity. Only cheeses made in the region of Kaskaskia (13 miles down-river from Saint-Louis) and on the Louisiannan side of the Mississippi are allowed to be called Kaskaskian Bleu.
- Gavaudun: A pungent goat cheese, Gavaudun is one of few brie-styled goat cheeses accepted outside of Louisianne. Using Penicillium candida and Penicillium camemberti or Brevibacterium linens, the cheeses are sold with yellowish-white rinds, roughly 5 inches in diameter and are ripened for 3 weeks before sale.
- Châtelguyon (also Gruyère de Châtelguyon) is a Gruyère-styled cheese made from cow's milk. With the emigration of Romand farmers from Helvetia during the end of the 16th and 17th century, gruyère cheese was saved from the culinary calamity of Helvetia. Many Helveto-Romands as they call themselves moved into Franche-Comté and Dijon and established communes, some of which emigrated to Louisianne, bringing their cheese manufacturing styles with them.
- Nauvoo-la-belle: A cow's milk cheese, much akin to Morbier of France, but instead of a layer of ash, as is done with Morbier, a mixture of ash and flour is layered in the center of the cheese, and is covered with an ashy-rind. It is prized in and around Nouvelle Cournouaille, but has a strong following in Les Plaines.
- Pamplona: A bison milk cheese made from a semi-domesticated herd near Pamplona, Nouvelle Navarre. Sometimes called the "Mozzarella of the West", Pamplona is a treasured favorite of Louisiannans, eaten with tomatoes and basil and balsamico imported from Modena, Italy.
- L'Écureuil des Rocheuses: First fabricated in Écureuil, a city to the east of Provost, Nouvelle Cournouaille. It is similar in flavor to the French Vacherin Mont-d'Or, made from lightly pasteurized cow's milk from the Alpes-Rocheuses department. Made year-round, it is surrounded by a band and packaged in a box made from aromatic pines in the Rocheuses.
- Belle Fourche: a coulommiers-esque cheese made from bison-milk, Belle Fourche has pleasantly wild flavour coupled with the creaminess associated with coulommiers.
- Tome d'Épices: using the native jalapeños from Tejas, this cow's milk cheese is akin to French Cantal, but with the tejan spiciness.
Sausages of Louisianne
- Andouille: A spiced, heavily smoked pork sausage. One of the spiciest of all Louisiannan sausage variants, Andouille is made of butt or shank meat and fat, seasoned with salt, cracked black pepper, and garlic, and smoked over pecan wood and sugar cane for up to seven or eight hours at approximately 80°C (175°F). The resulting sausage is used in a wide range of Louisiannan dishes, such as gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and étouffée.