Fromage `a Trois (Cheese Tasting)
How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?
Charles de Gaulle
French Celebration of Cheese
The best way to sample a cheese (or an apple, or a wine) is to taste it among a trio of other cheeses
While in Paris, at the end of the day, we will occasionally assemble in a hotel room (maybe down in the lobby) for some bread, cheese, wine and other snacks
In Chicago, our Meet-Up group schedules similar gatherings, at the zoo, in the park, on the lake . . .
Everyone brings a favorite cheese (maybe even a French cheese?) and shares it’s story
That is also how we visit a cemetery or museum. There is no tour guide or sommelier – we tap the resources of the group and share
“Carriageway (or Roadway) of the Monks” Cheese Wikipedia Translation
Life in France: One Stinky Cheese at a Time A Year in Cheese (Kazz Regelman)
One guilty pleasure (which may destroy my French cheese credibility) is always available in Paris convenience stores. You won’t need to go into a cheese shop to find Chausse aux Moines.
A mass produced commercial (“industrial”) cheese, manufactured by a large company with a complete advertising campaign.
This semi soft wheel of cheese, curiously like a springy hockey puck is never over ripe, with a pleasant chewy quality and a delicious rind.
Some might look forward to their first taste of European butter on a baguette when arriving in Paris. For me, it’s Chausse aux Moines on a baguette, slathered with Dijon style mustard.
Cheese Snobs will dismiss me, but for an American, Chaussée aux Moines is superior to Kraft, Cracker Barrel or the supermarket’s generic cheeses. When my traveling companion ate it, she decsribed it as stinky.
Then we move on to the other more authentic French cheeses
Some speak of French Wine
how in France, a glass of wine is less cheaper than a soft drink
(which I have never experienced)
For me it is more about the Cheese
Not necessarily from the visible street-front Fromageries, but the grocery stores,
even the 8 à Huit or Marché Franprix mini-markets (a French gourmet version of your local 7-Eleven convenience store)
I occasionally soak the wine (or Champaign) label off the bottle, but all my cheese wrappers are stuffed into a zip-lock to scrutinize upon my return to the USA
Here is my amazing (perhaps embarrassing) Cheese “log”:
Chaussée aux Moines (this is my Every-Day Go-To Paris cheese)
Tomme de Savoie
Ossau-Iraty sharp Basque Sheep’s milk cheese
Vacherin (Mont d’O) potent mountain cheese
Le Super Marché Cheese Plate
The Cheese Course
Chocolate & Zucchini
Edible Adventures, The Best Sandwich in Paris
At Home with Patricia Wells
Subscribe to Paris Memos (mailing list)
David Lebovitz: Living the Sweet Life in Paris
10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris
David Change: Lucky Peach
5 Great Places to Eat in Paris
Recommendations from David Chang and Dorie Greenspan
Denise Rehrig: Good Morning America (ABC News)
Top 10 Foods to Try in Paris
Tiffin Tales: Food, Travel and Photography
10 Delicious Things You Must Eat in Paris
Shared Appetite: Eat. Cook. Share.
The Top 10 Foods You Have To Eat in Paris
The Daily Meal
Top 10 Places to Eat in Paris on a Student Budget
10 Best Restaurants in Paris: Bryan Pirolli (2013)
Raymond Blanc’s favourite restaurants in Paris
The French chef picks his top tables in the French capital plus dine like a pro with our guide to eating out in the City of Light The Sunday Times
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I can get a good loaf of “French” bread at the local Jewel food store. It’s got a complex taste, elastic crumb and chewy crust. The baguette that I’m thinking of might be from “La Brea” bakery of California – maybe frozen then baked fresh today. We’ve had American wines, cheeses, breads and restaurants comparable to what you might find in France for some time.
“I don’t know what”
The difference is that in Paris, I walk into a boulangerie and request my bread from a French woman who will not permit me to order in English. If I lapse into my native tongue (I blurted: “does that have grains & seeds?” when ordering a pain aux cereales) she commences a squawking – like a wolf has entered the hen house. And I respect it, admire it and pray that it will never change.
This is one of my Parisian simple pleasures. If they could do that at my local Jewel, I wouldn’t need to book the expensive flight to France.
Je ne sais quoi (zheh-naye-say qwah)
Literally: “I don’t know what”
It is the intangible quality that makes Paris distinctive and attractive
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