Square and made of cow’s milk, Maroilles is the most famous cheese from northern France. It’s a lovely golden colour, with a rich,oily soft texture and meaty, salty, lemony taste. Its nickname is ‘vieux paunt’ – old stinker – which gives you some idea of the aroma.
Another cheese invented by those versatile monks, Maroilles was the favourite of many French kings. Today it appears in all kinds of dishes like eggs en cocotte and the classic Tarte au Maroilles, a doughy cheesey delight worth tracking down next time you hop on the Eurostar to Lille.
What with? Strong tasting Maroilles needs a big red like Châteauneuf-du-Pape and something crunchy like Wholemeal or Walnut Crackers. In France they also use it in a sauce for chicken with cream, beer, onions and butter.