I really didn’t intend this series to teach French culinary terms, but obviously food is a large part of my Parisian experience.
- B is for Boulangerie which means Bread
- E is for Escargot which is haute cuisine for Snails
- F is for Fromagerie which means cheese
Based on a few comments over the past few days, several readers of this blog are well-acquainted with the four Parisian Food groups:
Cheese in Paris is not just a food group, however, it is a main meal course. And it is not just a section of the dairy case, but its own specialty shop.
So how do the French eat cheese?
There is of course the familiar French Fondu – a combination of Gruyere cheese and dry white wine served with bread cubes and slices of apple.
Then there is the Croque Monsieur – a cross between French toast and grilled cheese, sometimes served with raspberry jam for extra decadence.
But the quintessential fromage experience is the course served between the main entree and dessert. And in my humble opinion, it is the best course of the entire meal.
A typical cheese tray includes four-to-five different cheeses, served with an assortment of fruits, nuts, and crackers. The key is variety – a selection of different densities (soft – hard) and different milk varieties (sheep – goat – cow).
If I were to create an ideal cheese tray for my taste, I would be sure to include:
- Goat cheese – a soft cheese with a nice tangy flavor.
- Camembert – a semi-soft cheese. I like the heartier flavor of this cheese as compared to its close cousin, Brie
- Gruyere – a hard cheese, similar in taste to swiss cheese. Pairs very well with fruits such as pears or apples
- Roquefort – a deliciously rich blue cheese that melts in your mouth
I would also serve some crusty bread and fresh cream butter as well.
A glass of dry red wine and I am in heaven.