Le Marechal is an aged raw cow's milk cheese made in Granges-Pres-Marnand, Switzerland. Granges-Pres-Marnand is only 2.71 square miles, and most of the land there is used for agricultural purposes. Most of the people who live in this municipality speak French. Granges-Pres-Marnand was brought into the spotlight in July, 2013 when there was a terrible collision between two trains there. Many were injured, and there was one fatality. Unfortunately, there's no good way to segue into a cheese review after stating something like that, so I will just have to make the rocky transition.
|Le Marechal, looking quite tempting.|
Like many other alpine cheeses, Le Marechal is at its best when it's melted. The flavors soften, but the slight sharpness can still be detected. It differs in its stronger flavor and aroma. At first glance, it comes across all business suit and a tie, but underneath, there are some tattoos and piercings going on. It's edgier than traditional alpine cheeses. Le Marechal borders on a stinky cheese. The aroma is sort of like dirty socks, but less offensive. If you're like me, though, you can get into that smell.
Despite the powerful come on, the flavor is nutty and rather mild compared to most strong-smelling cheeses. The Herbs de Provence rubbed on the rind before it ages for five months, penetrate the cheese and add an intriguing, spicy flavor. There's a richness about this cheese, possibly due to flax seeds being added to the diet of the dairy cows.
No matter how you serve Le Marechal, it's enjoyable. Use it as you would Gruyere or serve it on a cheese plate. I could see it oozing out of a grilled cheese sandwich. It's a versatile cheese that will probably gain popularity soon. Melted or not, it pairs well with a nice Pinot Noir.
|Long strings of melted cheese.|
|Le Marechal melted on sweet potatoes with eggs. Potatoes might have been better.|