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 Férmier

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!

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mpabner said...

My favorite is a Morbier. I do not know too much about the cheese. Our market here only has one "brand".

Loulou said...

yes, I like Morbier too. We tried it when we first moved over here, but I think we'll be tasting it again because I don't remember much about it, just that I liked it.
So far my favorite is St Félicien. Ever tried it?

Katie said...

I like the tomme a lot. And Pont d'eveque (sp). Actually anything soft and the smellier the better!
Now I'm going to pay attention to the names and not just the appearance - I point a lot...LOL

wcs said...

Great idea ! Those first two cheeses are among my faves. And I always liked morbier. Can't wait for next week !

Loulou said...

Pont l'eveque is good! I buy on appearance a lot too, but now I'm going to try everything!

merci! Is there any cheese from around your area that you could recommend?

wcs said...

The cheese they make around here is goat - Valençay, Selles-sur-Cher, Sainte-Maure-de-Tourraine. It's great, too. I never really liked goat cheese until I moved here.

Sister said...

Sis -- yes, oh yes let's cheese taste. But oh my God....the horror of cheese without Lactaid. Help is on the way.... Ps I can I get some wine with that?

Riana said...

I take a nice smelly epoisses any day and eat it up with spoon while it gently burns my tongue and gives the worse breath ever!

Loulou said...

thanks for the info...I'll look into those.
I love love love goat cheese!

You need Lactaid you poor thing? And of course, wine is obligatory!

I've never tried epoisses but often look at it and wonder what it tastes like...