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Boulette d'Avesnes

Monday 31 Jul 2017 / Category: The Cheese Guide

Boulette D'Avesnes

August is the month in summer when Parisians skip town and leave the best picnic spots to the tourists, so we figured that whilst you are outside in the fresh air and there is no one around your picnic blanket, it’s the perfect time to try one of the … stronger smelling cheeses you can buy in France - the Boulette D’Avesnes.

Boulette d’Avesnes takes its name from the small town of Avesnes which is famous for producing this formidable cheese. In this little town on the French / Belgian border, the cheese is hand moulded into its distinctive cone shape, (or ‘Boulette’ in French) and then traditionally covered in paprika - though it can also be flavoured with parsley, pepper, tarragon, or cloves. But what you may not have known is that this stinky cheese is actually made from the left-overs of other cheeses, such as Maroilles. When Boulette d'Avesnes was first being made, the left-overs of Maroilles would be left sitting on a windowsill to dry for an entire month. Then, the cheese would be washed in beer before being left in a cellar for a further three months… are you starting to get an idea about how this particular cheese might smell after all that time? 

Back in the 16th Century, the Benedictines of the Abbey of Liessies, a monastery in the North of France, mention in their writings a "bouille d'ammage" which roughly translates to ‘Cone of Cheese'. In fact, they even referred to the month of August as the ‘Time for cones’ because it was during the last weeks of winter that the locals would make the cheese cones.

Nowadays this soft, smooth cheese is made from pasteurised cow’s milk, and has a washed rind with plenty of flavour! It's best eaten fresh, or after 30 days of being made. Pair a Boulette d'Avesnes with a French Belgian beer like a ‘Chimay’ Ale or a red wine that can compete with the strong flavours - such as a Corbières Rouge. True, this fairly unconventional cheese isn’t for the faint of heart. You either love this cheese or hate it, but it’s a delicacy that's definitely worth trying!

Central Paris Location

Last Minute Course Places

22 Jun 2024

  • French Market Tour and Cooking Class / Marché Maubert
  • Spend the morning like the locals, with a typical Parisian experience. A full immersion in to French culture with a French Market Tour followed by a hands-on French Cooking Class right in the heart of Paris !

  • Meet at 18 Place Maubert in front of the fountain, next to Metro Station Maubert Mutualité     Time: 9:30 - 13:30
  • Price: €189.00     Availability: 4 places left

22 Jun 2024

  • French Macarons / Les Macarons : Technical 3-hour
  • For the serious Macaron lover. Three hours of intensive Macaron time - we will tackle two types of classic macaron shells and four types of classic macaron fillings!

  • La Cuisine Paris, 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris     Time: 14:00 - 17:00
  • Price: €119.00     Availability: 1 place left

24 Jun 2024

  • French Technical Classes / French Bistrot Lunches
  • Le Soufflé

    Au menu:

    a traditional savory Soufflé au Fromage (cheese soufflé)

    plateau of fromage (a selection of fine French cheeses)

    salade with a traditional French vinaigrette

    a delicate and sweet Soufflé au Chocolat (chocolate soufflé)

    After all that hard work (and fun), enjoy lunch with your classmates and a glass of wine while admiring wonderful views across the Seine to Notre Dame.

  • La Cuisine Paris, 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris     Time: 10:30 - 13:00
  • Price: €119.00     Availability: 4 places left

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  • La Cuisine Paris, 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris     Time: 14:30 - 17:30
  • Price: €119.00     Availability: 3 places left

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If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call on +33 (0)1 40 51 78 18 or email contact@lacuisineparis.com    Click here for further contact details