Boursin® cheese is a brand of gournay cheese that is flavored with herbs and spices. It was created in France and is sold in grocery stores throughout the world under the trademark Boursin®. It is characterized by a white color and soft, creamy texture that is very similar to cream cheese. It is popular as a spread on crackers and crudités, but it also can be used in hot dishes.
Gournay cheese has its origins in Normandy, France. Francois Boursin® first created this cow’s milk cheese in 1957 and named it after his small hometown of Gournay. It was inspired by a popular French dish of fresh cheese served with chopped herbs on the side that diners can mix into the cheese according to their taste. Although it is most popular in France, it is available in grocery and gourmet stores in many countries.
The original and most popular flavor of Boursin® cheese is called Garlic & Fine Herbs. This cheese features the flavors of chives, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, along with the buttery, creamy flavor of the cheese itself. Other flavors have been added to the line, such as Garlic & Roasted Red Pepper and Pepper, Shallot & Chive. A lighter version of the original flavor also is available. Light Garlic & Fine Herbs boasts fewer calories and grams of fat than the standard Garlic & Fine Herbs flavor. The original and pepper flavors are certified to be kosher.
Boursin® cheese typically is served as an appetizer. It is easy to spread, which makes it suitable for crackers and bread. It also can be used on raw vegetables such as carrots, celery and peppers. Boursin® also can be cooked in recipes such as sauces for pasta and chicken. This cheese melts when heated and creates a smooth sauce with the flavor of fresh herbs. It also can be crumbled on top of grilled meat such as beef or chicken.
The popularity of this cheese has spawned several imitations. Only authentic Boursin® cheese is labeled as “All natural Gournay cheese.” It is possible to get a similar effect by mixing herbs with cream cheese, but it will lack the same buttery flavor and slightly crumbly texture as true gournay cheese.
This cheese should be stored in a refrigerator. Its flavor is best when served at room temperature, so it should be removed from the fridge 30 minutes before it is served, if possible. The manufacturer recommends storing the cheese in its original foil wrapping in a refrigerator drawer. It traditionally is served after being sliced into wedges, similar to a pie.