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Fromage fort is a kind of French cheese spread made from different kinds of cheese, and mixed with other ingredients. In many traditional versions of this dish, the cheese that is used is left over bits or ends of different kinds of cheese. Cooks mix these up with wine or broth, as well as garlic and herbs, for a textured spread with a unique flavor.
The name of the dish, fromage fort, is translated from the French as “strong cheese.” This dish is so-called for the strong flavors created by mixing strongly flavored cheeses with wine and other elements. Cooks may or may not choose to age the spread to change its flavor.
Cheeses that are typically used for fromage fort include soft cheeses like camembert and brie, as well as harder cheeses like Parmesan or Swiss. Goat’s milk cheese or chevre may also be used. Almost any cheese will serve as an ingredient for fromage fort, where the resulting spread is a good way to use leftover pieces of cheese.
Essentially, fromage fort is a means to avoid wasting cheese that was originally bought for some other purpose. For example, someone might have a “wine and cheese” type celebration in their home or some other venue. The leftover cheese from this event can be used to make fromage fort. If the purchase for the event includes white wine varieties, which are useful in recipes for this dish, they can also be utilized.
Other ingredients also add flavor to this sort of dish. Some cooks add cranberries or other kinds of dried fruit. Others may use chicken stock or vegetable broth; a vegetable broth is generally more useful in order to make the dish less perishable. In addition to these ingredients, some other cooks may also use beer to make fromage fort, as the brewed beverage add a particular hearty flavor that is appealing to many.
Although it has a distinctly exotic name, fromage fort is not extremely dissimilar to other cheese spreads known by various names in other parts of the world. In some English speaking societies, cheese spread is often served in the form of a “cheese ball” or “cheese log.” The ingredients for these presentations are very similar to those mentioned above. Other societies such as Eastern European communities also have their own versions of cheese spreads as part of local cuisine.
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