Fromage Fort

Food Processor
Cheese Grater
Silicone Spatula
Weck Jar, Crock, or Bowl


In the bowl of a food processor, combine cheese, butter, garlic, wine, chives, black pepper, and red pepper flakes if using. Blend until super smooth, about four minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides.


Taste and add salt if necessary. Adjust other seasonings as needed to your liking.


Using the silicone spatula scrap into a small Weck jar, crock, or other serving bowl. Consider using several smaller jars to save for other occasions, this spread goes a long way, it is fort.


Serve with crackers, bread, or crudités. Additionally, you can spread on sliced baguette and broil for a few minutes (pro tip from Jacques Pépin).
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) of a mix of cheeses, both hard and soft, grated if necessary
  • 2 ounces (½ stick or 57 grams) of unsalted butter at room temperature, a triple-cream cheese, or a mixture of both, you’re looking for that consistency
  • 1 small clove or half of a larger clove of garlic, grated or minced (this is the fort)
  • ¼ cup dry white or rosé wine (do not use red, the spread will turn an awful grey color)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste if at all necessary, many cheeses like Parmesan already give a heft of salt, taste and decide

Cook's Notes

The French have a knack for using everything. A French dictum is “Tout est bon dans le cochon,” or “Everything’s good from the pig,” meaning they use and eat everything from head to tail. You will see French chefs scraping the last of the egg white from the shell with their fore finger so as not to waste any. Fromage fort is another tasty French idea born from thrift. The name means strong cheese and I’ve heard that is due to the addition of garlic.

It is a way of using all those errant bits of cheese in your refrigerator and turning them into something special, spreadable, and good to the last cheese nub.

You can be pretty loose with this recipe, the only hard and fast rule is to bring it to the proper consistency. You will need a balance of soft cheese or butter to lend creaminess, essential for spreading on les biscuits. Other than that you can let your mind run free. To give you an idea of the varying softness and hardness of the cheese, the final test recipe I am doing now as I write is a mix of Brie, Gruyère, Parmesan, and Feta with creamy butter.

This freezes well if you’d like to portion it out and save some for another day. This recipe can easily be doubled or halved and is pretty forgiving. It is pretty tasty with a spring glass of rosé or Chardonnay; however, no harm if you pull out a red.