Earlier this week, I got word from Saxelby Cheesemongers that it's now selling faisselle, a traditional French-style fresh cheese being made by the Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery using a special culture imported from France.
The name faisselle actually refers not to the cheese, but to the vessel in which it's made: a tiny colander into which fresh curds of the cheese are ladled by hand. As some of the whey drains away, the cheese develops a thick, yogurt-like type consistency. Think of it as a much more creamy (and fatty) version fromage blanc, which is made with skim milk.
"It is a very subtle delicate cheese with a fragile texture. The flavor is fresh, milky, fuzzy with a wonderful taste of hazelnuts and flowers balanced with the acidity of the curd," Adeline Druart,
General Manager, Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery, told me via email.
Faisselle can be eaten as a dessert -- topped with jam, honey, and nuts -- or as cervelle de canu, a savory spread mixed with herbs, garlic, pepper, and white wine.
While small batches have been made for years for Le Bernardin, the cheese is now being sold exclusively at Saxelby Cheese at the Essex Street Market.
I tried to request a sample by mail, but the cheese is so delicate and fragile that it can't be shipped, so it looks like a trip to the Lower East Side is in order.