Wednesday, November 14, 2007

les fromagettes part deux

This blog started when Sara, Jasmine and I first started Les Fromagettes, our first Cheese Club. Little did I know last winter that I would be writing now from Paris, going from Berkeley's Cheeseboard to Trotte Fromagerie on Rue du Saint-Antoine. And little did I know I would find two more ladies as interested in learning about cheese as I am here - I mean really, it's hard to sample all the great cheeses of France by yourself. And so, we met here in my tiny room to sample the cheeses of Ile-de-France (Johanna's fantastic idea - that we spiral out from the region which we find ourselves in), enjoy some wine, and talk brie vs. coloummier vs. well, mostly Brie. Kate's Brillant-Savarin was the clear winner - creamy (triple creme?) and buttery and almost like cream cheese, but the kind you'd make a cheese cake out of. Or just continue to slather on bread the next day.

I brought at Fougerus that was ok - I'm realizing that ammonia-y turns me off and while I think Mr. Jenkins would say it means it's a little too old/wrapped incorrectly, Johanna also couldn't taste what I was tasting, so maybe I'm just blessed/cursed with some kind of smell factor that others don't have? I also asked for 'explorateur' to which the fromager said he didn't know what that was, but that there's a good family of cheeses (of producers or of type of cheese, my poor French cannot distinguish) similar - so I went home with a neuf chatel (am I even spelling that correctly?) which was almost cheddar-y in its yellow sheen and taste, but ultimately a bit strong for me (nothing like the fake cream cheese by the same name in the US). Johanna brought us bries that she was disappointed by from Au Bon Marche (her reliable fromagerie was closed), and we decided yes it was the store that sent us these bland sticks of brie. (Alas, they left me with the cheese and they did taste great last night on top of roasted apple, fennel and sweet potato right at the end, covering everything in its stanky brie goodness)

Next month we move on to Loire Valley - this city is wonderful for a great many things, but making cheeses isn't exactly one of them.

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