Review: Boursin's Limited-Edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt Cheese Is The Real Deal

Attention Boursin cheese lovers. The gourmet cheese brand has unveiled a limited-edited Black Truffle & Sea Salt flavor to enhance its Gournay cheese lineup. When you're making selections for your next cheeseboard, looking for an ingredient to liven up a bowl of pasta, or searching for something rich and creamy to toss on top of your egg scramble, you may find your answer in Boursin, the incredibly decadent, surprisingly low-maintenance specialty cheese that comes wrapped in foil and nestled in a petit package. 

The newest, limited-edition flavor, Black Truffle & Sea Salt celebrates the popularity of the earthy, umami taste of truffles. Black truffles differentiate themselves from white truffles because of their stronger flavor and aroma, which makes them the center of whatever dish they're included in. So, how well does Boursin conjure the particular taste of black truffles in their French soft cheese? We taste-tested the new limited-edition flavor alongside Boursin's original Garlic & Fine Herbs to find out.

What is Boursin Cheese?

Boursin cheese is a gourmet French cheese brand that is named after its cheesemaker, François Boursin.If you examine the artisan packaging, you may notice that all Boursin cheese products are labeled as Gournay cheese, which is an homage to the town where François Boursin grew up in the Normandy region of France. Boursin began crafting his specialty cheeses in 1957 and released Garlic & Fine Herbs  in 1963, the company's signature flavor and the first flavored soft cheese said to be sold anywhere in France. Fortunately, the Garlic & Fine Herbs flavor met tremendous success, which allowed Boursin to build out his lasting business. 

One of the first things you'll notice about Boursin cheeses is their texture, which is thick and creamy, resembling the consistency of a sophisticated cream cheese. Boursin's vision for his soft cheeses is based on the French classic, Fromage Frais, which was widely served at dinner parties and consisted of fresh creamy cheese produced from milk and cream. To enhance the flavor — which tasted almost exclusively of dairy — French home cooks often mixed in herbs and spices. 

Each Boursin cheese is wrapped in delicate foil to help maintain the shape of the cheese (and looks elegant when presented on a cheeseboard). The packaging enables Boursin cheeses to last for a little over a month unopened and two weeks after opening when properly refrigerated, which is longer than your average soft cheese.

What are the ingredients?

Boursin Gournay cheeses are prepackaged and often found in the less glamorous refrigerated dairy section of the market. But don't let their less desirable placement fool you. Boursin Gournay cheeses are a luxury culinary item that is as decadent in taste but modest in size and packaging. 

The first two ingredients in each Boursin Gournay cheese are pasteurized cultured milk and cream, which is your first indicator that their products are of high quality and made with real, wholesome ingredients. That authenticity can be felt in the cheese's appearance and texture, which is intensely thick and creamy. Next on the list of ingredients is sea salt, dried parsley, potassium sorbate (a preservative that derives from salt), dried black truffle, natural flavor, and black truffle extract. 

It's notable that Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt cheese is made with actual dried black truffles because many products are advertised as truffle-flavored; most truffle oils available in stores do not contain any real truffles on their ingredient lists. Being able to savor the decadence of black truffles in prepackaged cheese, available at major grocery stores, and for a reasonable price point, makes Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt cheese all the more desirable.

Nutritional Information

All of Boursin Gournay cheeses, including Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt cheese, are made with pasteurized dairy, which is treated at high temperatures to eliminate the potential presence of harmful bacteria. This makes Boursin cheese one of the few soft cheeses currently available on the market that is safe for those who are pregnant, as well as anyone concerned about the potential for foodborne illness. 

The serving size for Boursin cheese is two tablespoons and there are roughly five servings per container. Two tablespoons of Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt cheese contains 12 grams of total fat (of which 8 grams is saturated fat),  4 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates from sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Boursin cheeses are all rBST free, which means the dairy cows were not given any artificial growth hormones.

Additionally, all Boursin Gournay cheeses are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. What may come as a surprise to some cheese lovers is that many kinds of cheese are not actually vegetarian and, therefore, would also not be classified as kosher because of the presence of rennet, an enzyme that is derived from the stomach of an animal. 

Price and availability

Interested in purchasing Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt cheese? We have good news for you, according to Boursin's press release, this limited-edition flavor is available at major U.S. retailers nationwide, including Walmart, Giant Eagle, and Hannaford. The Boursin website features a handy store locator that can help you find shops in your area that carry Boursin cheeses. Currently, the standard retail price for Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt cheese is $6.99, which is something of a steal considering how expensive food items that feature truffles often are. 

To find Boursin cheeses at your local market, head to the refrigerated dairy section where you'll likely see a variety of prepackaged cheeses. Two notable cheese brands you may encounter during your search, which are similar in texture and flavor profile to Boursin are The Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedges and Alouette soft spreadable cheese. Both The Laughing Cow's spreadable cheese wedges and Alouette's soft spreadable cheese feature several different flavors of cheese, including Garlic & Herb, but neither brand currently offers Black Truffle & Sea Salt. The Laughing Cow's spreadable cheese wedges are sold for $5.99 and Alouette's soft spreadable cheese is sold for the same price as Boursin. While both brands have a pleasantly thick consistency, given the similar pricing, in terms of overall quality and flavor sophistication, we recommend choosing Boursin. Be sure to look out for Boursin's signature packaging with green lettering.

Taste testing the limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt

Now, how does Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt Gournay cheese taste? We have to admit: We were slightly skeptical when we unpacked the Boursin Gournay cheese as we generally purchase soft cheeses fresh from our local cheesemonger. But, Boursin quickly blew our expectations out of the water. 

As soon as we unwrapped the signature foil, the aroma of the black truffle was powerful. When we took our first bite, we immediately experienced the incredibly creamy texture, which was equal parts mouthwatering and decadent, similar to a very high-end cream cheese crossed with the richness and refinement of ricotta. The base of Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt cheese tastes more strongly of cream than it does of the tang or particular pungent essence common in many soft French cheeses. We welcomed the pure creaminess as it allowed the flavor of truffle to anchor the cheese. 

Folded into the thick round of French cheese are whole pieces of dried truffle and dried parsley that you can taste on your tongue, enhancing the texture. Parsley makes for an excellent pairing with black truffle because of it's delicate flavor, which enhances the earthy complexity with the fresh grassy notes. Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt Gournay cheese is a standout for lovers of truffles.

How does the Black Truffle & Sea Salt compare to the original flavor?

Trying Boursin's original flavor, Garlic & Fine Herbs, alongside their limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt felt like an embarrassment of riches as both kinds of Gournay cheese are rich, creamy, and positively addicting. Like Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt cheese, Boursin's Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese is made with pasteurized cultured milk and cream. The subsequent ingredients of Boursin's signature flavor are dried garlic, salt, white pepper, dried parsley, and dried chives. Chives are a deeply welcome addition to Boursin's Garlic & Fine Herbs as they add a decadent flavor that elevates the richness of the cream. The pieces of dried parsley and dried chives are prominent all throughout the cheese, adding complexity to the texture and enhancing the taste with a bright freshness. 

Our one disappointment with Boursin's Garlic & Fine Herbs is the subtlety of the garlic aroma and flavor, which pales in comparison to the brightness of the herbs. That said, the benefit of the light touch of garlic is that Garlic & Fine Herbs can be smeared heavily on a cracker or added to your favorite dish without altering the flavor profile. The powerful flavors present in Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt cheese are exponentially more intense than the original, particularly the earthiness of the truffle, which pleasantly subdues the sea salt. While we loved both kinds of cheese, as fans of truffle, if we had to choose, we'd go for Black Truffle & Sea Salt.

Is it worth buying?

We give our enthusiastic stamp of approval to Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt Gournay cheese. If you're looking to elevate your next dinner party, or just want to indulge in some excellent cheese that is as rich in flavor as it is creamy and thick in texture, Black Truffle & Sea Salt is your answer. We wouldn't recommend pairing this cheese with a heavily pre-seasoned cracker given the complexity and intensity of the truffle notes. It can be savored on its own with a spoon, as well as on a crispy flatbread. If you're looking for the ultimate decadence, you can even slice a layer of the limited-edition cheese on top of a piping hot filet mignon in place of a pat of butter. 

Our recommendation for Boursin's limited-edition Black Truffle & Sea Salt Gournay cheese is so strong because of the luxurious texture of the soft French cheese and because of the intense umami taste and rich fragrance of truffle. The cost and ease of cooking with or serving Gournay cheese are well worth it. While savoring the taste of Gournay cheese, you can also enjoy the benefits of ingredients that adhere to a range of dietary needs.