Brunet Cheese from Italy

A Slim Wedge on a Baguette is Perfection

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© Image 2014 Jennifer Meier

Brunet is a young goat's milk cheese, named for an ancient breed of goat that is common to the Piedmont region in Italy. It is made by Caseificio dell'Alta Langa, a 25-year old dairy, the makers of La Tur. The creamery’s use of traditional methods keeps them rooted, while their high food safety standards have made them incredibly reliable. The company is based in Bosia, between Alta and Cortemilia and their name is derived from the region, the Alta Langa Piemontese, an area known for its wine and cheese.  

The Flavor of Brunet

Brunet emerges as a delicate gift to cheese lovers. It boasts a soft, bloomy, slightly wrinkly rind, almost too delicate to remove - no reason to cut the rind as it is very edible. The supple ivory paste, or interior, smells of mushrooms and creme fraiche and feels like silk on the tongue. A tangy finish keeps the cheese from being cloying.

This soft texture varies throughout the 6 to 8 ounce round: cakey, creamy, gooey, runny; it's all good. The flavor is tangy with a hint of earthy mushrooms, which keeps Brunet from tasting too heavy and buttery. 

The cheese matures for about 10 days at the dairy, so it's probably still less than 3 weeks old by the time it reaches retail counters. This leaves many pondering how such young cheeses could pack so much punch flavor-wise. One answer to this is their use of thermalization, a gentler form of pasteurization where the milk is heated to a lower temperature, but for a longer amount of time than in the case of pasteurization. 

If you like Brunet, you'll also want to try La Tur, Robiola Rochetta, and Robiola Bosina which are all made by the cheese producer Caseificio dell'Alta Langa in the Piedmonte region of Italy.

Brunet Pairings

Brunet sits in a ruffled paper doily (like a cupcake holder). Brunet is a soft, fresh, young cheese that's hard to resist. On any cheese plate, it will draw the most attention. In fact, who needs to serve a big cheese platter when you can just put out a round of Brunet?

This Italian gourmet cheese is young and is almost spreadable. It can be enjoyed with both red and white wine. Set a slim wedge of Brunet on a slice of baguette or a cracker and you've got perfection. Salami, prosciutto, and other cured meats can only add to the enjoyment.

White wines without too much sharp acidity pair best with Brunet. Try sparkling wines, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and other Italian whites, or with a sweeter, darker beer like a double boc. Try it with some Prosecco or Moscato d'Asti to have your cheese, and eat it, too.

Brunet is one of the more perfect cheeses for a warm goat cheese salad, also known as a salade au chevre chaud. Top a crusty hunk of bread with a wedge of Brunet and set it in the broiler for a few minutes and see for yourself.