Stinky, smelly cheese. At least that’s how my mom and dad would describe it. For the first 22 years of my life, I never understood cheese and didn’t eat much of it. The occasional slice of “American” on a sandwich, or the occasional cube of cheddar in a salad. The extent of my cheese vocabulary was maybe 6 varieties at the most. But that’s pretty standard for any American. It wasn’t until I came to France that I finally tasted different cheeses. At first I was a little leery…meticulously removing the “croute” before tasting each different variety. Eight years later, it’s rare you’ll find me trimming my cheese. Hard cheeses like comté would be the exception.
Today we’re having two varieties. Normally we’d have a few more, but after the main course we just are in the mood for just a little taste. The first is a “Bleu de Gex.” This was a first for me – it was never offered at our old “fromager” at the marché de Neuilly – so we decided to try something new. The texture is firm, the taste more subtle than a Roquefort. The fromager suggested we melt this cheese over vegetables, so we might try that in the next few days.
The second was an excellent Brie de Meaux – and it was flavorful, smooth, and probably the best brie I’ve ever had. Brie is a bit tricky, it really has to be “ready” meaning the inside is all creamy and there are no chalky bits in the center.
Cheese is a full-fat food perfect for anyone, especially kids. Our toddler loves cheese and it was one of his first words! Next up, a very “reasonable” full-fat dessert to finish this great meal…