Pont-l’Évêque is a true table cheese – a staple on the Normandy sideboard for hundreds of years along with other regional foods like apples, butter, cream and cider. Not showy or high-maintenance, this pasteurized cow’s-milk cheese would round out any hearty meal nicely. Its meaty paste and nutty flavor could stand up to a number of rich dishes, French or otherwise, and would ensure that you don’t leave the table hungry.
Like many washed-rind cheeses, Pont-l’Évêque is quite pungent. The wedge I bought at Surdyk‘s began stinking up my refrigerator as soon as I brought it home, and I actually finished the cheese in two sittings so the smell wouldn’t linger in the fridge any longer. However, with this cheese, its bark is worse than its bite – the paste itself is fairly mild and shouldn’t overwhelm those with delicate palates.
Pair Pont-l’Évêque with a fruity white from Bordeaux, as per Wine Spectator‘s suggestion, or go bubbly with Champagne. Of course, cider would make a stellar match as well.