Lots of people seem are talking about the iPhone, so I decided to take a look at a few new applications. This is the first of those reviews.
As the name suggests, Fromage is a cheese reference/database. At this time the program includes 225 French cheeses by region, 90 from Spain, 95 from Italy and 85 from the USA.
Each listing gives a photo the region, type of milk, texture and a suggested wine pairing. Tapping on this information flips the screen, giving further information. For an example, here is a random listing -
Region: Aquitaine France
Milk (Raw): Ewe
Wine Pairing: Red: Cötes-de-St-Mont (Tannat. Cab.-Sauvignon grapes). White: Irouléguy (Manseng, Courbu grapes).
Ossau-Iraty is probably the least known ‘Appelation d”origine Controlee’ (A.O.C) cheese. The Ossau-Iraty unites two regions of France inthe Western Pyrénées: Ossau in the valley of the Bearn, and Iraty in the bech forests of the Pays Basque. The Ossau-Iraty is full of a delicious, nutty robust taste if it is produced during the period from June to September when the herds move up to the high mountain meadows. Covered by a thick orange to grey rind, the pâte is white, supple and creamy. It becomes more firm as the maturing period is longer. An artisan pâte may have small holes and should not stick to the palate.
Some listings have more information, some less. For each cheese, you are given an option to add your own notes, add a cheese that is not in the database, or to “share” the information via email, which sends the entire listing. It’s a nice feature.
Cheeses are listed alphabetically by region, milk type or texture. Strangely, you can only search by cheese name. You should be able to search by any characteristic, and not just by the name, or by going to the region and scrolling through the long list.
The “add notes” feature allows you to set a star rating (1-5), and by selecting the appropriate button, one can set a tag of “Try, Buy, or Favorite”. The same section also enables further notes such as place found/price, tasting information, notes, keywords, etc. However, like the general search, I can’t find a way to locate information based on personal notes. One has to scroll through the list of favorites.
Despite the missing search functions, I like this application. I never can remember more than basic cheese information and it is nice to have it in a device you can carry. Furthermore, the programmers seem to be very responsive to feature requests, and are adding more listings on a regular basis. If you are interested in cheese, this program is worth the $2.99 price, and is my favorite of the large number of cheese applications now available at the iTunes store. Note that this is a native iPhone application, but it works on the iPad too. It’s just not quite as sharp when expanded to fit the larger size.