Cheese after dessert?

Jun 29th, 2007, 04:34 AM
  #1  
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Cheese after dessert?

Seems the French eat cheese before dessert whereas the Brits eat it after. What is the correct etiquette where you are and do you think it makes a difference?
londonengland is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 04:46 AM
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Some adults drink out of bottles and don't start me on spitting
bilboburgler is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 04:51 AM
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The word "dessert" for the sweet course, is quite recent in the UK and many people call it "sweet" or "pudding". I suspect that it is an Americanism rather like the way the call the main course the "entrée"

The word comes from "desservir" and refers to the nuts and fruit served after the table-cloth has been removed.
It makes sense to serve cheese while the cloth is still on the table.
I think that in the UK in restaurants, the cheese-board is usually offered as a choice instead of the pudding.
It's useful if you are diabetic.










Josser is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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Where I live, you have dessert only if you're being very grand. And you'll have it - with port or some other fortified wine like Madeira or Malmsley if you're being arcane - after both the cheese and the pudding (aka "pud").

Sometimes, even if you're not being grand (at Xmas, for example), you'll have a dessert tray in the sitting room to adjourn to. But people hardly ever have the appetite for it.

I don't think anyone in Britain eats pudding before cheese anymore, do they? I mean how can you taste cheese properly if you've ruined your palate? And you can't really go back to red wine after a sticky, can you?
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 05:09 AM
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I don't know the etiquette but once I eat dessert (a sweet), I'm done. No interest in tasting anything else.
Travelnut is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 05:19 AM
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I don't think that is very common except in some special grand dinner -- to eat both cheese and dessert. That is a lot of food, but it definitely would have to be before dessert. The idea of eating cheese after a sweet dessert is nauseating to me (and doesn't really make sense to eat something that is nothing but fat and protein after the sweets, and many cheese is very strong-tasting), but if that is what the British do, it doesn't surprise me given their poor culinary history.

I'm not sure this is a matter of etiquette, if you are alone or serving only your own dinner, I don't think any etiquette can be involved. If you have guests or a state dinner, etc., it would be poor etiquette to serve cheese after dessert because it's such an awful idea. Sometimes you are given a choice of cheese or dessert in France (of course if you pay a la carte you can have anything, but I've seen that on a prix fixe menu).
Christina is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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Thanks for your responses. I believe the reason the Brits eat cheese (or used to eat cheese) after the sweet/dessert/pudding is to neutralise the acid and sugar from it
londonengland is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 06:13 AM
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I am french and have a long time ago discovered in England that people were drinking port or madeira when having cheese. Strange habit since we only drink in France, port or madeira wines, as an aperitive.
As far as having cheese after dessert, it sounds to my french taste an heresy...
Eze is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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<if that is what the British do, it doesn't surprise me given their poor culinary>

now THAT is very funny Christina!
suze is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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...but not nearly as funny as drinking port as an aperitif. Or as confusing dessert with the sweet course.
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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In restaurants in Holland, if a cheese board is available it is offered instead of a pudding. My OH tucks into his smelly cheeses while I tuck into my sweet, preferably, sticky pudding/dessert/sweet. I can't eat cheese. Call it what you will. Here it is a nagerecht - an after dish.
hetismij is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 06:29 AM
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Well I'm in France, and I think it makes a big difference. Here you are most often having red wine with dinner, which goes well with cheese (I know that there are white wines that go with cheese too, but most often it's red) We wouldn't want to have dessert, or a 'sweet' before. Seems to me the change from savoury to sweet makes sense rather than the reverse.

We have British neighbours who invited us for dinner, and served dessert. Not realising that they were continuing in their British traditions, (while we've 'gone native')we assumed that we wouldn't be having cheese with the meal. When the hostess brought it out, it was rather embarrassing, as by then we had no room left for cheese.
Carlux is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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In France, the cheaper menu is

"fromage OU dessert"

The more expensive menu is

"fromage ET dessert"

...in that order.
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