13 hours ago
Friday, December 5, 2008
I LOVE cheese.
When we are in France, I eat some kind of strange delicious mystery cheese everyday, which names always escape me.
For me, the smellier the better. It is so much fun to walk into a fromagerie and choose a beautiful little special package and eat with a fresh baked baguette. What could be better? (Some wine to go with it).
For Thanksgiving I bought some wonderful cheeses and Lucques olives to put out as a first course, thinking the sophisticated guests (NOT) would enjoy them.
Next time, a wedge of Swiss, Cheddar and maybe some of that spreadable stuff in the container will do. These beauties were lost on this crowd (sorry family, I still love you anyway, despite you being cheese challenged).
I am not a connoisseur but know what I like. I buy cheeses from the cheese man in town. He guides me and lets me taste some of the more special obscure ones. It also doesn't hurt to have a neighbor who is French, she always lets me try some nice varieties.
Here is what I usually include on my cheese plate (wine not included in this post):
~ I always go with an aged Gouda my husband's favorite, it's hard and nutty and everyone seems to love it.
~ I personally love a Comte, which is the king of French Gruyeres. It is SO good.
~ Then I choose an aged Spanish Manchego, always a crowd pleaser, very mild and nice served with some fig jam.
~ And for my 4th cheese I buy a Gorgonzola or Roquefort, something nice and stinky. I love this with a drizzle of honey.
Cheese is very pricey and if you buy it at Whole Foods or a cheese shop, be prepared to open your wallet.
Today, I had the pleasure of going to a FANTASTIC wholesale market called Maywood Market in NJ and found the most beautiful French cheeses for 1/4 of what you usually would pay. I was so excited, that I overbought. They also sold Brooklyn Brick Oven baked breads that were scary good.
My niece and I sat around and sampled cheeses and bread and needed a nap by the time lunch was over (she took the photo at the market).
Here was my lunch for today. (I have plenty leftover for the weekend, don't worry).
That brie was amazing with a tomato and herb layer on top. The Gres de Vosges from the Alsace region of France was a bit smelly for me, but packaged so beautifully, decorated with a fern leaf on top, I could not resist (and I swear it only cost $1.99 !!!!!).
The other cheese is a Tomme de Savoie, a cow's milk cheese from the French Alps.
One can live on cheese, bread and wine alone, I know I could.