All things cheese in France

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Say Cheese Please!

Recently I lead a cheese tasting (dégustation) for the American Womens Group here in Paris.  Unlike we normally do, we went to one of my favourite fromageries - Griffon, near Ecole Militaire for a group visit of the shop guided by the always affable and totally knowlegeable team of Claire Griffon.  One of the participants, Janet Robbins sent me a link to her blog Postcards From Paris where she posted a great recap of the visit entitled 'Say Cheese Please!'. The article is worth the read as Janet really nailed the essence of the moment and backed the visit up with a good deal of research on my favourite subject -  CHEESE!  

Monday, 14 March 2016

A Look at Pairing in the USA

The Wall Street Journal published a great article on cheese in America worth taking a look at called The A to Z Guide to Cheese Plus Pungent Pairings . It features an interesting combination of world cheeses with amusing descriptions to go with them, like " a nutty, savory, beef-broth-y stunner with plenty of “crunchies” (amino acid clusters) that add a pleasant Pop Rocks-for-adults texture to many aged cheeses" or Époisses being "Stinky, funky, smooth as a velvet Elvis".

Then it proposes, with photos, some cheeseplate combinations of the selections they feature.  Quite interesting combinations, not your usual ones either, which is the point of the article.  There are some American cheese I would really like to try but can not get here in France, but there are some beautiful Italian and Spanish ones that if you look hard you can find here and in the UK.

This aticle proves that cheese has definately 'arrived' in the US and just like wine Americans are jumping into it with both feet!  And as a side note, Culture Magazine reported that before banning them, the US Food & Drug Administration has decided to  "reconsider the safety criteria" for raw milk cheeses !  Great news for all.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

The internet is an amazing thing.  You can find all kinds of useful and useless information, anytime, anywhere.  Following a link from a podcast about the International Cheese Competition, I read a very interesting article, albeit a bit old the other day regarding terroir and cheese.  It was in the Feb 2002 issue of Wine Business Monthly and is called The Terroir of Cheese by Maria Lorraine Binchet.

It is one of the best and most focused discussion of the subject of terroir and cheese I have read.  It describes the main differences between terroir in wine and in cheese and then goes indepth on the subject relative to cheese from the land, to the animals, to the process and the producers, all who add their special piece to the terroir of a fromage. Well worth the read!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Cheese & Sex

Cheese eaters have a more active sex life?  Who knew! Apparently according to an article on the website MinuteBuzz, cheese-addict have more sex than otherpeople.  Yep! You read it right. The results of a survey made by the American dating site Skout, after questioning 4600 members about their sexual habits, the cheese-lovers have it...or at least have it more often!

According to researchers, it is the tryptophan in cheese that make the difference. This amino acid helps boosts serotonin or "the pleasure hormone", so people who eat lots of cheese have higher levels of the stuff coursing through their libido! The best part is that the stronger the cheese strong, the stronger the link.  Yeehah!  Now all you gotta do if eat more cheese especially the smelly, strong ones!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Cheese - the new wine! Why cheese is now the new healthy food.

My friend Anne, a confirmed cheese fan, sent me this article The Health Benefits of Cheese in Berkeley Wellness | .  In it researchers say that cheese, not wine, may be what is largely responsible for the so-called French Paradox! Really?  Whoa! How cool is that? 

In short, some studies are now clearly showing that cheese is indeed good for you!  Despite the saturated fats that exist in cheese all the probiotic properties coupled with the vitamins and minerals are just the tip of the iceberg.

Evidently some studies point to the conjugated linoleic acid in dairy fat and calcium in combination with other dairy components which help reduce body fat. Eating cheese also helps reduce cavities, keeps blood sugars in check for those with diabetes and may even help reduce colon cancer.

Apparently the good news is that recent studies now point towards the health benefits of cheese that us cheeseheads already knew, but now the rest of the world is starting to wake up to!