April 18, 2007
Tuesday Cheese Tastings - La Fête du Fromage
Food is one of the reasons we moved to France. We look forward to and enjoy the seasonal specialties that come into the market every year and we support our local wine makers, beekeepers and olive growers with gusto. But lately I've noticed that I speed through the markets, go straight for the items on my list and don't stop and enjoy the samples being offered, usually by overzealous cheese sellers who smile and call out as you walk by. The minute I say, ''non, merci,'' they recognize my accent and switch to English. It drives me crazy! Is my accent that bad???
I've decided it is time to stop and smell the...
We live in a country with an estimated 350-400 different varieties of cheese (some say between 600-800!) and we've only tasted maybe a quarter of them. How pathetic. This is going to change!
From now on Tuesday will be the official day for cheese tasting. La Fête du Fromage, if you will.
Yesterday was the first Fête du Fromage. We tasted two, one of which I had tried before, but that was years ago so I feel like I tasted with a virgin palate.
Saint-Nectaire and Tomme d'Auvergne.
Both come from the sparsely populated, mountainous Auvergne region in the center of France and both are made from cow's milk. Saint-Nectaire is a celebrated AOC cheese with it's own website. It was nutty, buttery, smooth and seriously delicious.
The Tomme d'Auvergne was a bit stronger, but mellow with hints of grass and butter. This cheese is used to make the famous cheese and potato dish from this region called aligot.
So from now on, Tuesday will be our day to celebrate cheese. Please join us! Let me know what you're tasting or tell me about your favorite French cheese.
Come celebrate le fromage!