If you’re ever invited to eat with a French family, chances are you will have cheese for dessert. Yup, you heard it right. Cheese, bread, salad and wine for dessert. Ok, maybe they’ll throw some walnuts, raisins or sour cherry jelly in there…
My first French cheese “dégustation” awakened my taste buds and gave me a true understanding of what it means to be comforted by food. I can’t quite tell what inspired me more. Was it the different textures, aromas and combinations? Or the conviviality of sitting around the table and sharing a dish served in the middle of the table? One thing I know for sure – when the cheese platter arrives everybody gets all giddy and leaves out a happy “wooowww”.
As a foreigner, here’s what I learnt from eating cheese in France:
- each type of cheese comes from a specific region in French. Local artisans take a lot of pride and they preserve their “savoire faire”
- a typical platter is composed of 1 soft, 1 hard and 1 medium cheese, accompanied by fruit, bread and wine (preferably red). I like to add a salad and dried fruit as well.
- the French are very careful at cutting etiquette
Whether you are a cheesecake fan, you like simple feta cheese or just plain cream cheese on a bagel, I highly recommend upgrading to a French cheese tasting. You have friends coming over? You plan a romantic evening? Bring on the cheese! Somehow, the stories told around an enticing platter with a glass of wine lead to warm, nourishing and inspiring conversations.
Have fun and bon apetit! 🙂