Emilie Broudy-Masson gives a lesson on French cheese
I am French and I am a cheese lover. This means that I am also very fond of good mature cheddar (and how lucky I am, I can find some on the Boussac market!). I just love it as I do with so many other cheeses, especially French cheese. And I would like to share a few of them with you. First here are some advice on how to choose and taste cheese.
First rule: try other cheese than the already packed one. There are plenty others and it will be a chance to say a word in French at the supermarket! ” Un morceau de fromage, s’il vous plaît “, a piece of cheese please.
Second rule: taste unpasteurized milk cheese. So more flavour! Though I would advise you no to eat too much at a time until your stomach is used to it! You really should try a Camembert ” au lait cru ” (unpasteurized milk – look for those words on the label) it has so much more flavour.
Third rule: don’t forget to take the cheese out of the fridge at least a couple of hours before you eat it. It needs to be at the room temperature when eaten, so that the flavours are well developed.
Fourth rule: a piece of fresh bread (if it is a baguette it needs to be crispy, not hard or soft) with a bit of butter and a glass of red wine (just one! Not too many!) and you are ready to taste cheese!
As you must know, French have cheese before the sweet.
Have you ever tried Chaource ? Delicious, flavoured but not too strong. Best to eat when it runs just a bit!
A goat cheese, one like a Crottin de Chavignol or a Saint Maure de Tourraine.
Morbier is also one you should try, it has a blue line in the middle – indeed some mould! – but nothing as strong as blue cheese, and a really nice delicate taste.
Laguiole, Salers or Cantal which are similar but produced in a different area, are also very nice, not too strong and yet with a real taste. Just delicious on a piece of buttered fresh bread.
By the way, if you have « AOC » written on the label, it is better as it is a quality label meaning Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée : it means that this kind of cheese can only be produced in one area and accordingly to strict rules.
There are plenty more… To be continued!