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
This is My Paris Fromage (cheese)
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.
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 fresh French baguette – slathered with strong Dijon style mustard.
This semi soft wheel of cheese, a curious springy hockey puck, is never over ripe, with a pleasant chewy quality and a delicious rind.
Some 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 described it as stinky. (which for me is the first sign of a good cheese)
“Carriageway (or Roadway) of the Monks” Cheese Wikipedia Translation
Life in France: One Stinky Cheese at a Time A Year in Cheese (Kazz Regelman)
A mass produced commercial (“industrial”) cheese, manufactured by a large company with a complete advertising campaign.
Then we move on to the other more authentic French cheeses
Adventures in Cheese
Some speak of French Wine
how in France, a glass of wine is less cheaper than a soft drink
(which I have never experienced or appreciated)
For me it is always more about the Cheese
Not necessarily from the fancy street-front Fromageries, but common grocery stores,
usually 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 tabulate 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)
Cheese (Fromage) Links
Valençay goat cheese
Tomme de Savoie
Comté (regularly dubbed “France’s favorite cheese”)
Ossau-Iraty sharp Basque Sheep’s milk cheese
Vacherin (Mont d’O) potent mountain cheese
My favorite is Le Super Marché Cheese Plate when I can find one, with a combo of soft, stinky and “dangerous” fromage
(or even that piece of cheese which is marked-down because it is very ripe)
The Cheese Course