The Magie is a beautiful washed-rind cow’s milk cheese, with a wrinkly pink and amber skin splitting along the lines of the cheese shelves on which it sat. Collapsing on the cheese board with only a little bit of warming, the golden, lightly pocked paste is oozing and fluid throughout with only a firmer paste near the heart of the wheel.
Inspired by French washed rinds like Munster d’Alsace or even Taleggio, this is a pungent cheese with barnyard and mold wafting from the rind. In flavor it is buttery, meaty and mushroomy, with hints of hay and nut — even, as was noted by Murrays on Twitter, reminiscent of that Southern specialty, boiled peanuts!
This is not a challenging washed-rind (eg you can bring it home on the subway without clearing the seats around you), but it is delicious and complex, amazing smeared on a crusty hunk of baguette.
As for the name, Magie is a combination of Mario and Ginette, first names of the husband and wife team responsible for the cheese; Madawaska is the name of the first Seigneurie of the region of Quebec in which the fromagerie is situated.