Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fromage Francais

Sometimes, things just all seem to come together. Last week, it was French Week over at EmilyStyle and on Friday, she asked to name our French inspiration. My answer? Cheese! That night I opened my fridge and voila, there was a lovely piece of Brie.

Spoiled creature that I am, I went to Paris for the first time when I was eight.
Don't be taken in by the sweet smile in front of the doors of Notre Dame. When it came to the cheese plate, I took no prisoners. And certainly, it did not take me long to crown Brie my favorite. But alas, back here in the states, only a pale imitation was available. This is partially because in the US cheese is supposed to be pasteurized which means you can't get the delicious French au lait cru (raw milk) cheese unless you have an intrepid cheese smuggler importer.

Over the years, I searched for a Brie replacement. Something creamy and flavorful that would remind me of true French Brie rather than the bitter, bland, dry Brie that has become ubiquitous. Some of the best were (and still are) Reblochon, Camembert and my undisputed favorite of the type - Edel de Cleron. If you have a top gourmet store or cheese monger (as a side note - how much do you love the word monger? Cracks me up. Monger. Monger. Ahem sorry.) you can probably find these, some in their true French form. And you should. Invite friends, have a creamy cheese taste-off. Or you know, don't invite friends. Pour yourself a glass of wine, lock the doors, pull the blinds and keep all to yourself.

But back to the matter of Brie. Wegman's (a major NY, PA, NJ grocery chain) has started putting out their own store brand Brie that is significantly better than much of what is readily available. Look for the label that says INTENSE (this is to warn off the people who want to coat their brie with apricot jam and walnuts or pecans or something else that will completely disguise it's taste and make the quality of their cheese irrelevant). Delicious.

So tell me, do you have a favorite cheese? Are you even a cheese person? Are you still saying monger and giggling?


Monkey Girl said...

My favorite cheese is blue. I can't think of a specific one for you, but I love a creamy, tart blue cheese. Yum yum. Also, the word monger is excellent and I wish I was a monger of something.

carrietracy said...

Mmm. Blue cheese. There are quite a few really good domestic blue cheeses, but if we're at a cheese shop we'll often default to Bleu D'Auvergne. I love blue cheese with pears especially.

mom said...

I remember that "take no prisoners" approach to the cheese plate! It must run in the family- me, Kate (!!), etc.


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