We now live in the land of the cheese eating surrender monkeys, but regardless of their continual want for quitting anything they get into, you just cant go past their brilliance in the world of preserved milk, AKA cheese/fromage. This is made abundantly clear everywhere you go. Cheese is like currency in France, its sold everywhere, it’s what bacon is to the British and what beer is to the Australians, and quite possibly what sugar is to Americans.
You can’t find a menu that isn’t laden with cheesy goodness. We are living in the Alp’s so every second restaurant does fondue, not just the old pot of molten white love, they now have heat lamps that gently melt away layer by layer of semi hard cheeses like Raclette and they are perched on an ingenious rack that allows you to lower the half wheel to such an angle that you simply scrap of the top layer of gooey deliciousness… clever French bastards!
Then you walk outside thinking to yourself “I’ll go for a nice walk to burn off all of this effing cheese that seems to find its way into my ever increasing belly” so you casually stroll down the road only to be ambushed by these sneaky dairy producers, it’s a god damn rouse I tell you… they even have cheese sold and given away on the streets, yes the streets are literally paved with cheese (incorrect use of the word literally but I literally don’t give a shit) row after row of fromage and cured meats line the pavement, there is no shit cheese here, no orange shite that Americans claim to be cheese, no small triangles labelled with cows simply so that its been near a cow once in its factory raised life… NO it’s all the good stuff, the stuff that weird dreams are made of and quite frankly it’s overwhelming to say the least. And this is coming from a person who isn’t anti-cheese, quite the contrary, Lauren and I are cheeseaphiles, we are very close to being full blown cheese addicts also known as a addiction called ‘penchant de fromage’ and even for us this is border line too much.
But I’m not complaining, I’m just pointing out just how Omni-present this beautiful product is, and please do not get me wrong they treat this revered product with respect. They don’t serve cheese boards with 4 different cheeses served with pear and quince paste and feel their job is done, hell no, they treat every cheese with the kudos it deserves and bring all of its potential to the plate in which you eat it from. If it’s a cheese that needs to be left out of a fridge for a week before consumption then that’s what they do, if it needs to be baked and presented to the punter with shaved truffle on, then that’s just what this wimpy French fucks do, they may be an annoying breed of human, but by all that is holy in this world, they love their cheese.
I’m running a chalet with Lauren here in Meribel in the Rhone Alp’s and we offer some pretty decent cuisine, and for our cheese we offer a cheese course every night. This entails a fuck off piece of amazing cheese, one different cheese each night, this cheese comes with a story, in which I like to wrap up the truth in a beautifully packaged parcel of made up facts. You will recognise this process from this blog in which I use the same formula. I like to serve each cheese either by its self (if it’s that good) or in general I serve it with something that heightens its flavour.
We serve the local hard cheese called Beaufort which is known as the king of the hard cheeses (generally only by the producers) it is a great cheese and has such a subtle flavour that I like to serve it with candied walnuts as I feel it already has a certain nuttiness which works well together.
Another belting cheese we get from our storeman extraordinaire (Toby the ginger wonder boy) is the Reblochon de savoir, which is a small wheel of stinky gold, its got all the smoothness of a creamy brie but with the balls of a blue, and I like to serve it with crystalized honey, why? Just because it’s brilliant!
The blue we have been serving is good, but its no Roquefort and to be fair Toby has now sourced me some cave-aged goodness, but in the meantime this French blue called Bleu D’Auvergne with truffle honey is quite magnificent.
And without a shadow of the doubt the most incredible cheese I know and have the pleasure of calling my dear friend, the one, the only… Mont D’or, this is a cheese that was made to last the long hard winter, and meant to be served just after Christmas, it looks like a round wood wrapped blanket of mouldy clouds and once that lid is peeled back it is as if by some miracle nature has melted this cheese for you, yes that’s right it tastes like a melted cheese sandwich, its beyond belief and if left out of a fridge for many days before consumption then it transforms into an out of body experience. Holy fucking Cheese balls this shit is good…. I serve it with teaspoon and get people to simply hand it around scooping spoonfuls out as they go
So All in all, you can all see that we are in fromage heaven and it’s the gym or the slopes every day just to keep our cheese belly’s from taking over, but these are most definitely first world problems and problems I relish, thank god I’m a chef and get to play with such exquisite produce on a daily basis… cheeseisthebestshitever