What Is Boursin Cheese and What Does It Taste Like?

I had the opportunity to host a Friendsgiving this year and I went all out. I made turkey, homemade stuffing, green beans almondine, and my famous deviled eggs. But perhaps the dish I was most proud of was my mashed potatoes with a secret ingredient: Boursin cheese. I am here to spread the good Boursin word.

What is Boursin cheese?

Boursin cheese is a very soft cow’s milk cheese that bears the namesake of its founder, François Boursin. In 1957, Boursin created his brand, inspired by the common French party treat called fromage frais, a combination of fresh cheese and herbs. It was only a local delicacy until 1990 when it was purchased by Unilever, finally making its international debut.

Boursin has a soft, spreadable consistency that is only a little bit harder than cream cheese. It stands out in the cheese aisles of grocery stores thanks to its packaging: a box containing a silver-wrapped mound of deliciousness. It is most notable for its variety of flavors; the original version is garlic and fine herbs, but it has expanded to include things like basil and chive, caramelized onion and herbs, fig and balsamic, and their recent limited edition black truffle and sea salt.

What kind of cheese is Boursin?

Boursin is Gournay cheese. That’s what François Boursin dubbed the cheese when asked what it was called. And Boursin is pretty much the only product made with Gournay cheese because of this. 

Is Boursin cheese goat cheese? 

No, Boursin cheese is Gournay cheese and Gournay cheese is cow’s milk cheese. I get why you might have thought Boursin was goat cheese, though. It does look like a lot of soft chevre out there. 

What is Boursin cheese made of?

Aside from the base of creamy Gournay cheese, classic Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin cheese is made with dried garlic, salt, white pepper, parsley, and dried chives. 

Is Boursin cheese pasteurized?

Yes, Boursin cheese is made with pasteurized cultured milk and cream. 

Is Boursin cheese gluten-free?

Though it is not marked as certified gluten-free there is nothing glutinous within Boursin. So, unless you are the strictest gluten-free dieter who needs to see those words on the package, then you should be safe with Boursin. 

What does Boursin cheese taste like?

Boursin is really defined by its add-ins, but the base cheese is milky, sweet, and very light. This makes it a perfect vehicle for all sorts of ingredients, anything from savory herbs to sweet fruits to spicy peppers. And they have really tried a lot of different combinations. 

My personal favorite was the now-discontinued fig, raisin, and nut variety. It felt like the perfect Christmas cheese and I would sometimes pair it with my mom’s chocolate chip cookie. Don’t judge me.

Does Boursin cheese melt?

Yes, Boursin cheese does melt and it does so really well. But be forewarned: It does have a higher water content than its hard cheese counterparts, so melting it is going to make it a little runny. This could cause structural issues in a sandwich, so plan accordingly.

What to do with Boursin cheese?

I think the better question is “what can’t you do with Boursin cheese?” It’s a no-brainer to include it on every single cheese board you ever make. Because it is so easy to spread, it’s great on crackers, toast, or even as a dip for vegetables. And a grilled cheese made with Boursin? I shudder with joy just thinking about it.

But the cheese’s versatility lends it to so much more. As I mentioned above, it is an awesome addition to mashed potatoes, adding an extra level of creaminess and savory herb flavor. I cannot stress enough how freaking good it is. You can ask Sporked celebrity Jordan Myrick; they had the pleasure of dining at my Friendsgiving table.

Boursin is also good melted in pasta, added to lasagna or mac and cheese, sprinkled on a salad, stuffed in mushrooms or chicken breast, spread on a burger, melted in an omelet, or dolloped onto a piping hot bowl of chili. Get crazy with Boursin, you won’t regret it. 

About the Author

Luke Field

Luke Field is a writer and actor originally from Philadelphia. He was the former Head Writer of branded content at CollegeHumor and was also a contributing writer and actor to the CollegeHumor Originals cast. He has extensive improv and sketch stage experience, performing both at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and with their Touring Company. In addition to writing, he also works as a Story Producer, most recently on season 4 of Accident, Suicide, or Murder on Oxygen. Keep your eyes peeled for his brief but impactful appearance as Kevin, the screaming security guard, in the upcoming feature The Disruptors, directed by Adam Frucci.

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