Champfleury is a washed rind cheese from Québéc, modelled after some of France’s finest soft cheeses. During the process of ripening, the somewhat-thin, delicate bloom is washed—producing, ultimately, an aromatic crust which ranges in colour from white to copper. The interior flesh is a pale, yellowish-orange hue and an oozy, creamy, sticky consistency with small, irregularly shaped eyes. Champfleury is distinctly aromatic; the washing process lends to the rind a yeasty, subtly sweet scent reminiscent of freshly baked bread, while the interior smells of warm butter, cream and sliced apricots.
Not unlike Pont-l’Évêque cheese or Reblochon, Champfleury has a certain “funky” character resulting from the rind-washing process—although this quality is not as pronounced in Champfleury as it is in either of the aforementioned. The flesh of Champfleury has a fatty, creamy mouthfeel and a tasting profile reminiscent of a ripe French Camembert, albeit with a unique fruity aspect recalling very ripe peaches. This cheese is a superb introduction to the wonderful world of washed rind cheeses, full-flavoured—without being as pungent as many other cheeses which undergo the process during their manufacture.
Champfleury is particularly well suited to serving on crackers or crusty bread with your favourite fruit jam or compote, alongside peaches, apricots, or nectarines; with green grapes, radishes, pickles; or roasted earthy green vegetables such as brussels sprouts, asparagus, or especially fiddleheads. This cheese also makes a superb substitute for the comparatively difficult-to-source Reblochon cheese, which is a core ingredient of the classic Savoy dish Tartiflette which combines layers of pungent smelling, soft washed rind cheese with lardons, and sliced potatoes and onions.