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ilovetulips May 23rd, 2004 11:05 AM

What are your favorite cheeses in France and Netherlands?
Is that a "cheesy" question or what?? I am planning trip to Paris, Bruges and Amsterdam next spring. Everyone raves are French cheeses as well the Gouda in the Netherlands? Which ones do you always look for when going to these cities. I like both mild and sharp cheeses. Also can you bring any of them back home with you? Forgive the stupid question. Naturally I wouldn't lug around a chunk of cheese for days, I would bring home one I just bought.

ilovetulips May 23rd, 2004 11:08 AM

I can't find my message on the post. Trying again.

StCirq May 23rd, 2004 11:12 AM

I like all sorts of French cheeses: goat cheeses like crottin and cabécou, soft cheeses like Brie and époisses and St-André, hard cheeses like the tommes and cantals and brebis, blue cheeses like roquefort and bleu d'auvergne. Sheep, goat, cow, I pretty much like them all!
Dutch cheeses, I'm not so fond of, but I have far less experience with them. The ones I've tried all seem to be variations on Gouda, which I don't like for either its taste or its texture.

sherry1 May 23rd, 2004 11:34 AM

We bought a cheese we really liked called cardinal or cardinale at a market in Paris but have never been able to find in the states.

Just a shot in the dark: Is anybody familiar with it? Does it go by any other name?

sheila May 23rd, 2004 11:36 AM

On tonight's showing camembert, Comté,and époisses (tonight's blue was Scottish-Dunsyre Blue). But just go to the markets and try them out.

cigalechanta May 23rd, 2004 11:48 AM

i love the Cabécous and all other chevres. the Tomme de Savoies, St Marcellin, particularly the Le Pithou, an artisanal specialty where the cheese is marrinated in grapeseed oil and herbs de Provence, so-o-o good on a baguette. yummy, I always try the cheese with the wine whatever region we visit.

cigalechanta May 23rd, 2004 11:52 AM

sherry1 Do you mean Cardinal sin? a creamy cheese? The rind was dipped in brandy I think.

sherry1 May 23rd, 2004 12:24 PM

Dipped in brandy sounds quite good but this was a medium hard cheese as I recall.

cigalechanta May 23rd, 2004 12:27 PM

It does also comes in a firm cheese whose rind is with cider brandy. It is from a village in Somerset, called Nether Stowey and called Cardinal Sin.
You might be able to google a picture.

grandmere May 23rd, 2004 01:18 PM

Reblochon, a soft cheese made in Savoie, also the picondons, from Provence.

ira May 23rd, 2004 01:57 PM

Hi tulip,

At last count there were 450 different kinds of French cheeses, not counting variations among artisinal cheese makers or things like chevre with chive, with pepper, with garlic, etc.

Just start at the left side of the counterand work your way over to the right.

CONSUMER WARNING: You can't make up for a lifetime of deprivation in one week. You will get sick!

You can bring back hard cheeses. You will find them vacuum packed at the markets.

Most soft cheeses, particularly those from unpasteurized milk, are forbidden.

The most popular Dutch cheeses are Gouda and Edam.

Your cabin mates will not appreciate your bringing home a nice ripe goat's milk cheese, even if you did buy it that day.

Airlawgirl May 23rd, 2004 03:42 PM

I think this an EXCELLENT post! For someone who loves cheese (and the right pairings of wine) as much as I do- allow me to give a few suggestions-and I happen to be one of those who thinks Dutch cheeses are very underrated- problem is, people think there is just one kind of Gouda- some sort of mild, generic-tasting cheese- in fact, there are deep orange aged Goudas, (10-year aged!) and white goat's milk Goudas, among others, that will wow you with the intensity of flavor- I also happen to like a Dutch cheese called Parrano-excellent flavor, mild taste. As for French cheeses-hmmm, let's see...there are of course the varieties of goat cheeses (chevres) most of which are quite excellent- I like a nice fresh marinated chevre with sun-dried tomatoes-among others, also P'tit Basque- a cow's milk cheese that is a cousin to a Tete de Moine, but a bit lighter in flavor-another one I like is Saint Andre-(cow's milk) triple creme, with 75 per cent butterfat content-very smooth. One more- Morbier (cow's milk) a semi-soft creamy cheese with two layers separated by a thin layer of ash. The last one has fruit and nut flavors. Then of course, there are the aged gruyeres...but I'll stop here, I'm making myself hungry.

sherry1 May 23rd, 2004 04:31 PM

cigalechanta: thanks. Just to be sure, I'll hunt it down again in Paris this year.

ilovetulips May 23rd, 2004 04:43 PM

Thanks everyone! I will save this post so I can have some ideas when I go next spring. I love cheese (I am American) so I know I will be blown out of the water in Europe!

ilovetulips May 23rd, 2004 04:44 PM

I am looking at my slang and wondering is blown a word? blow blew, oh well.

StCirq May 23rd, 2004 05:05 PM

sherry1: If the cheese is from Somerset, England, I don't think you'll be able to hunt it down in a French market. The French are not big on importing English cheeses.

sherry1 May 23rd, 2004 05:12 PM

Then perhaps it is the wrong cheese as I had it originally in a Paris market.

StCirq May 23rd, 2004 05:27 PM

I think there is a popular brand of either Camembert or Brie called Cardinale - a soft cheese from Normandy. Perhaps that's it. Anyway, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of English cheeses I've seen in French markets.

cigalechanta May 23rd, 2004 05:42 PM

Whatever it is, Let me know at hotmail, as a cheese lover you have peaked my curiosity as the British one is the only one I know. I googled and found no French cheese, yet, with that name. But have a great trip.

StCirq May 23rd, 2004 05:50 PM

ilovetulips: You will definitely be "blown" out of the water and "blown" away by the cheeses in France, at least. There are indeed more than 465 varieties, each more delicious than the last. The warm goat cheese salads served at restaurants, the soufflés, and the gratins also are wonderful. Feast on cheese in all itsd forms with no regrets!

My problem with Dutch cheeses (and there is a Dutch cheesemonger in the Dordogne who shows up at all the markets with all the Goudas and Mimolettes and whatnot) is that they all have a "processed" texture - slick and waxy - which I hate. And there are so many variations on the basic Gouda - Gouda with cumin, Gouda with caraway, Gouda with paprika, Gouda with this and that. It's really boring compared to the variety and complexity of French cheeses. But for all I know, the Dutch cheesemonger in the Dordogne markets is just selecting the cheeses she particularly likes, or those her customers want. It's been a long time since I was in the Netherlands and got to sample the cheeses there.

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