I adore Boursin. I was in my early 20s when I first discovered this crumbly, creamy, soft cheese. It was the perfect dinner with crackers and salad, or as an after-clubbing snack. And I love to put some out with the Brie and Stilton after a good meal too.
My favourite way to eat the traditional herbs and garlic Boursin soft cheese is on a Jacob's water cracker, spread lavishly, and topped with a slice of a thick, beefy tomato sprinkled with freshly ground pepper.
Juicy, beefy tomatoes, of the kind you normally find in Spain, aren't so easy to come by in the UK for some reason. So when I was asked if I would like to review some new Boursin products, including a sun-ripened tomato, one, my answer was - well I think you can guess. Read on to find out if the new assortment lives up to my expectations (and when it comes to Boursin, they're pretty high).
Stop what you're doing right now. Return all unopened cheese to the shop. This, Boursin Sun-ripened Tomato, Onion & Chive (150g, £2.20), is all the soft cheese you need. Ever.
As you can tell, I fell for this new flavour big time. It is the perfect infusion of flavours into the crumbly goodness of the cheese. The sun-ripened tomatoes are easily distinguished, but don't over whelm, and the slightly sweet aftertaste makes this a perfect cheese to go with just about any white wine. Although a nicely dry New Zealand Savignon Blanc is my suggestion.
I just couldn't stop eating it. On toast for breakfast, melted on a baked potato, spread on crackers, and oatcakes. Or just sliced off and eaten on its own. On a cold winter's day, it brought in a bit of sunshine to my palate.
Pros: delicious, perfect blend of flavours, and did I mention how yummy it is?
Cons: tomatoes are a migraine trigger for my husband, but then so is cheese. So I got to eat it all to myself. Well it is a con for my husband!
Overall verdict: 10/10 and if my editor had let me I'd have made that a 20 out of 10 but she said that made a mockery of the whole system. Pah.
It was the best of cheese, it was the worst of cheese. I started with a true gift from the gods, and I'm rather sad to have to follow it up with a crime against food. OK I am exaggerating, but you cannot go from something as sublime as the sun-ripened tomato cheese, to something with the word 'light' in the name and not notice the difference.
And it is a big difference. My first thought when I tried Boursin Garlic & Herbs Light (125g, £1.90) was that I'd somehow been sent a bad batch. That maybe I'd got a defective packet. I gave it to my friend for a second opinion and she couldn't see anything wrong with it.
In fact, she quite liked the cheese and happily took it off my hands. Personally, in the name of all that is good and decent in the world, I never even want to remember that this cheese exists. The cheese lacked depth, which you kind of expect from a light version. It might have less calories, but there's always a payoff - no such thing as a fat free lunch sadly. But the crumbliness of the cheese is gone, and the texture is more slimy than creamy. And the flavours taste artificial.
If you're on a diet and this is the only Boursin you can have then do not, whatever you do, so much as lick the Boursin Sun-Ripened Tomato, Onion & Chive cheese. You simply won't be able to stomach it.
Pros: apparently as my friend liked it, this is perfectly fine cheese if you've not tried a real cheese before like Boursin's new sun-ripened tomato cheese; better than nothing if you're on a diet, but I would go for smaller portion of proper cheese myself.
Cons: tastes awful if you're used to a proper cheese
Overall verdict: 3/10
The Boursin Garlic & Herb soft cheese (150g, £2.20) is what got me hooked on the stuff in the first place. Before I tried the sun-ripened tomato version this is what I thought of when I wanted something cheesey to go with my food, or just to eat on its own.
It is crumbly, creamy, and gorgeous. These cheeses, like the other 150g ones reviewed here, come wrapped in stiff foil. This makes it easy to keep them fresh in the fridge once opened, although I find the stuff really sticks to the foil so not that easy to get out if you want to put the cheese on a plate to serve. If anyone has any tips on this please let me know!
Pros: delicious; flavours taste fresh and natural, and blend nicely
Cons: I guess saying that it isn't the sun-ripened tomato version isn't really a con but that's what my tastebuds are telling me
Overall verdict: 9/10
Take all the crumbly, creamy goodness of full fat Boursin garlic & herb cheese and put it into tiny pellets. That's essentially what you get with a 120g tub of Boursin garlic & herb minis (£2).
If anything, the pellet format actually seems to work well with the flavour, giving it a slightly more intense bite of garlic. A handy way to add the cheese to salad, or sprinkle over pasta or pizza, or put into a lunch box. I did find that what I did with the tub though was snack on the cheese more. It is a lot easier to do that when you can scoop a couple of pellets out with a spoon!
With my tub the cheese at the bottom did get slightly squidged together, making them less useful as pellets although still just as good as a snack!
I did think though that for £2, you're only pay 20p less for the format of the cheese, and getting less cheese at 120g than you would if you bought the round 150g cheese. So while I love it, unless you find it really handy I don't think the minis are good value.
Pros: handy format to use, the tub makes it ideal for snacking
Cons: too easy to snack so not good for waistline, a bit expensive for what you get
Overall verdict: 7/10