Sunday, February 21, 2010

Say Cheese! 246 times.

"How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?"
-Charles De Gaulle

And what is this one? That's cheese.
And that one? Cheese.
What about the white one there? Also cheese.
This one? Still cheese.

One of the things that France is famous for is cheese (also see: bread, wine, berets, man-pris, white flags, and saying "z" a lot). There's a lot of cheese here. And a lot of different kinds. Our venture into the cheese realm has been exploratory but cautious. We've found out that there's some really good stuff over here. Some early favorites of ours are Compté, Leerdammer, Gouda, Abondance, Gruyère. Those are all hard cheeses, all have different flavors and are great when fresh on bread, sandwiches, or even by themselves. There are also a lot of soft cheeses here. By soft, I mean the consistency of like a pumpkin pie or a brick of meting butter. JJ's willing to dive into that world of cheese; me not so much. Then there's all the cheeses with blue, green, black, and purple throughout. Sort of like a chocolate marble cake but a little more colorful. I'm out. Not even slightly interested. Maybe in 20 years. Doubt it though.

This photo is from a cheese-tasting that JJ went to. She said some were good, some were not terribly pleasant, and some were just awful. Yeah, that's some of those blue/green spots I mentioned. It's not not a vegetable quiche. Not food coloring or additives. Think more of the damp corners of your basement. Would you want to eat that stuff?

Sawyer's taken pretty well to enjoying the cheese here. One thing's for certain: he'll never be a Kraft Mac&Cheese kid.

Which reminds me... there's no cheddar cheese here. I mean, every now and then you find it imported, but it's not one of the 246. They don't like it and dismiss it as poor American junk. Maybe I'm a poor connoisseur, but I still like (and miss) my cheddar cheese.


Michael & Joe Joe said...

What I failed to tell Michael that in the picture of cheeses. The one that has a knife in it is Munster Cheese. On no, it is not what you're thinking like in the states. Nope this is much stronger. The lady doing the tasting had to keep it wrapped up until we ate it because it smelled too bad. And she said we couldn't touch it with our hands because the smell would stay on our hands and just be awful. Sounds appetizing huh?

Kevin Eby said...

Have you guys seen "Julie / Julia" yet? You would find that very entertaining on one of your breaks. It will help you to appreciate the finer cheeses in life. We have much for which we must thank the French.

Michael & Joe Joe said...

I've actually seen that movie, and it is really good. I saw it before coming to France, but it is so much more funny to me now after having been here. We do have a lot to thank the French for, and fortunately stinky cheese is one of them. We learned some of the history of the cheses, where they were first made etc. Who would have ever dared to put some of this stuff in their mouth thinking, this might taste good after having smelled the odor similar to death. I mean if it has stuff growing on it, I wouldn't have thought it was a good idea. But thank you Frenchies for your courage! I would have never known!