The Boulette d’Avesnes is a strong flavour cows’ milk cheese, sold as both a raw milk and pasteurised cheese. It has a brick red coloured and smooth rind, which is most often quite low in fat.
The name ‘Boulette d’Avesnes comes from the place of origin of the cheese – Avesnes-Sur-Helpe, municipality located on the Northern area of the Pas-de-Calais region and its unusual conic shape.
The peculiar irregular shape of the cheese is formed by hand with approximately the following dimensions: 8 to 10 cm of Hight and 6cm of diameter from the base.
Apparently the Boulettes d’Avesnes were originally made using the cheeses left which did not form correctly in the mould, or were damaged during the cheese making process.
The cheese pate is made of white Maroilles cheese, ground up and aromatised with tarragon, parsley and adding crushed pepper corns which gives its distinctive flavour: sharp and strong, peppery flavour.
The Boulette d’Avesnes marinade mix conveys its odour, a great present aroma of tarragon with a doughy consistency that also adds some distinctiveness to the piece.
The Boulette d’Avesnes fermière is matured for between 2 and 3 months in a humid cellar where it is washed with beer and coloured with paprika.
The ideal and most recommended time to enjoy and consume this cheese is from May to September after a 10 weeks affinage process.
The Boulette d’Avesnes weighs between 200 and 300g, depending on the producer.
Wine and Fruit Pairings
One of the best ways to enjoy this cheese is to have it after a great meal, pairing it with a good red wine from Bourgogne or a good Beaujolais or perhaps with a beer. This Boulette can also marry well with confit of mirabelles with Riesling or drizzle with good quality honey.