Couronne de Touraine
This striking ring of cheese is the Couronne de Touraine, also known as Couronne Lochoise, from France’s Loire Valley. Made by the Fromagerie Cloche d'Or in the town of Pont-de-Ruan, it is affinaged and imported by the award-winning French affineur-fromager Rodolphe Le Meunier, located in La Croix En Touraine, and has only recently become available in the U.S.
The name, “Couronne”, translates as “crown”, reflecting its distinctive shape, and in this case it is the Crown of Touraine, the region from which Le Meunier hails.
In both flavor and appearance, the Couronne, a soft-ripened, pasteurized goat’s milk bloomy rind, is similar to one of the Loire Valley’s great cheeses, Selles-Sur-Cher. The ash-coated rind, stony gray with a greenish hue, has a bit of the distinctive “brainy” wrinkles of a Geotrichum Candidum rind, and is impressively soft and delicate, with an aroma that is earthy, musty and herbaceous.
Cutting into the doughnut, the paste is creamy, smooth and oozing at the cream line, velvety throughout, with a tangy, minerally, mild flavor, salty with notes of fresh hay. Enjoy with a glass of Frolic Viognier.