Meet new foods, but keep the old.

I love meeting new foods.
This is one of the reasons I love the farmer’s market. I just never know what I am doing to discover.
As I approached Emerald Valley‘s stand, I asked  the obvious question: “What in the heck is Fromage Blanc”? She patiently tried to explain it to me as quick and easy as possible…”It’s a yummy, soft, spreadable, fresh cheese that you can eat with anything. It is delicious with pasta.”
She had me at cheese and pasta. Two of this Italian girl’s favorites.

So, what is it? Fromage Blanc is a fresh, easy-to-make cheese. Of French origin, its name simply means “white cheese” and it makes an excellent cheese spread with herbs and spices added to it. It can also be used by itself as a substitute for cream cheese or ricotta in cooking. It can have the consistency of a cream cheese with a fraction of the calories and cholesterol. It can also be made to have the texture of sour cream or a thick drained yogurt. You can also make this with either whole or skim milk so you can make it as lean or as rich as you care to.
Evidently, it is quite versatile!

Fromage Blanc is prepared in much the same way as Creme Fraiche, but is made with milk instead of cream for a lower fat food. It is also more tart in flavor then Creme Fraiche and can be softer in texture so it can be used as a topping for soups and fruits and in other similar ways.
Fromage Blanc is made from bacteria working at low temperatures and with a bit of rennet added. The milk for this never goes above body temperature so it is great for folks wanting to retain the good things from raw milk. Cool beans!
I decided to mix this new food with an old friend: pasta. It tasted much like fettucini alfredo. Oh yeah.

Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta
1 container of formage blanc
1 lb. of pasta
1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped
Cook the pasta according to package. Strain when done. In a deep skillet, warm up the formage blanc and add the cooked pasta. Toss with fresh basil and serve.
What is a new food you have recently friended?

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