Gourmandise is a French soft cheese. It is a processed cheese, and consists of already aged cow milk cheeses (typically Gruyere and Cheddar) blended with cream. It comes in two types - in the first, nuts (typically walnuts or pine nuts) are added to the mixture. In the second, the cheese is flavored with kirsch or cherry juice (or both) and as a result has a strong aroma and flavor of cherries.

My parents served me the cherry variant of this cheese often when I was a child in New York City. In the 1990s and early 2000s I had difficulty finding it - I'm not sure if there was a regulation blocking its import. In recent years, however, I've seen it sneaking back into upscale food shops.

This cheese is excellent as a dessert cheese due to its flavor, and goes extremely well with a dessert wine such as port or sherry, or a cordial, or even champagne. It's a spreadable cheese, being quite soft, and goes very well with dry crackers or spread on fruit either dried or fresh.


Ile De France cheese site, personal recollection, discussion with cheesemongers.