Tucked in the Flemish countryside in western Belgium, cheesemaker Johan Deweer and his son Louis-Philippe make their cheese with the milk of their own herd of cows. For this particular cheese, they use a recipe first developed centuries ago by Catholic Trappist monks (though neither Johan nor Louis-Philippe are monks!).
Trappist-style cheeses are known for having a washed rind: during the cheesemaking process, the outside of the cheese is "washed" in a brine or other liquid. This method of cheesemaking often results in a cheese that's quite pungent and funky. But never fear—despite the name, this cheese is on the more tempered end of the spectrum. With a fudgy texture, it’s still savory and rich, but there’s a sweetness that mellows out the sharper notes—think sweet cream and the caramelization that comes with a good French onion soup.
Let the cheese breathe a bit before serving, then watch it win the cheese plate.