If you have been following along on this little adventure into cheese making you should at this point have some delicious Bovre cheese! It’s wonderful as is, but to really pack a punch and compete with the store bought brands we need to talk about flavorings. I love to come up with my own flavorings, but you can always look for popular combinations in your local cheese aisle.
Pack a Punch
In the world of cheese flavors from pungent to sharp, smoked to nutty, Bovre is relatively neutral in flavor. Yes, as it continues to age it will develop a sharper tang to it, but overall there are no bold flavors to work around. This means it blends perfectly with a variety of flavors that bring out different aspects of the cheese. Sweet can be paired with the tang for a sweet savory combo. The soft creaminess brought out with herbs and spices. Below are several different ideas for adding flavors to your Bovre, along with any general notes I have on using different types of herbs, spices, and fruits to make a cheese your friends and family will rave about.
If I had to choose only one thing to add to my cheese, this would be it. The sweetness of the fruit along with the tangy creamy cheese is the “bee knees” in my opinion. Anytime I have served my blueberry honey Bovre as part of a cheese platter, it is always the first to disappear.
I have never tried using fresh fruit for Bovre, my reasoning being that the added moisture would most likely change the consistency of the cheese. Fresh fruit also degrades very quickly over time which limits the cheese’s overall life span. I prefer to use dried fruits such as dried cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple etc. You can use homemade versions if you dehydrate your own or whatever is available at your local grocery store. You can pair additional flavors with them, think cranberry orange, medjool date with pistachio etc. to make a wide variety of sweet/savory cheeses.
Blueberry Honey Bovre
For my Blueberry Honey I start with approximately a quarter cup of dried blueberries and a tablespoon or two of honey. Using a sharp knife roughly chop the blueberries into small pieces, you don’t need a smooth paste, but you want to make sure they are small enough to stick easily to the cheese. Add your honey to the chopped blueberries to make a thick sticky paste. You want a fairly stiff consistency, add just enough honey to coat the blueberries.
*If your dried blueberries are too hard to chop easily, add to a small bowl with a tablespoon of water at a time and microwave in 30 second increments stirring in-between until the blueberries have softened slightly.
Place a clean sheet of cling film onto the cutting board and press out your blueberry honey mixture into a even layer. Square to roughly the length of your roll and about three times as wide. Unwrap your preformed cheese and place along one edge of the blueberries. With the help of the cling film roll your cheese so that the whole surface is covered in the blueberry mixture. Twist and tuck the ends of the cling film tightly around the roll to help maintain its shape until ready to serve.
I prefer dried herbs for the most part, if I happen to have fresh on hand I usually add them to the softer spread version of this cheese rather than coating the outside. You can use whatever combination that you would like, Herbs de Provance is a popular blend as is are any of the Italian herbs. You can add heat with chili flakes, or fresh cracked pepper.
Similar to herbs and a bit of a cheat, I use pre-made spice and herb rubs to coat my Bovre. They often have a smoky heat, sugars and a variety of spices all packed into one easy bottle. If I’ve used a spice rub I do not wrap my cheese in cling film once I have coated it, instead I leave it uncovered in the fridge on a clean paper towel. The sugar and salt in the rubs can draw moisture from the cheese and if it is wrapped make for a messy presentation. Leaving the cheese uncovered allows it to breath and any excess moisture to evaporate.
That’s it guys! Thanks so much for coming along with me and letting me introduce you to the world of cheese! I know it can seem daunting (how can something be easy when I’ve had to split my post into 3 parts) but once you have the basics down, making your own fresh cheese takes literally a few minutes of time. Don’t be afraid to experiment and learn with trial and error, homemade cheese never turns out perfect every time! I would love to see what you create and let me know if this information helped you. If you have questions or comments please feel free to send me an email, or share your success with me on Instagram!
Italian Herbs – Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Basil
Cracked Black Pepper Corns
Roasted Red Pepper
Herbs de Provence
Good Quality Olive oil
Finely chopped Nuts