What is your favorite French CHEESE ?

Mar 15th, 2006, 08:38 AM
  #61  
 
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If you click on the "actualites" section, you can watch a little video about the Reblochon marketing campaign that takes place in a Paris metro station...can practice your French while learning about cheese!
Another cheese I like is Rambol, which is a mix of several cheeses (including a French cheese) and sometimes walnuts. But you have to be careful who you get it from. From the right cheesemaker, it's delicious. But the prepackaged grocery store versions are bland and miss the mark.
BTilke is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 07:54 AM
  #62  
ira
 
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Hi Rob,

Keep in mind that you can't make up for a lifetime of deprivation by eating lots of cheese in a week.

You will get sick.

At least, I did.

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Mar 16th, 2006, 08:21 AM
  #63  
 
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While we are on this subject, I was surprised to see just a brief mention of Vacherin Mont D'Or. This is apperently a cheesse that has a limited season (I suppose they all do, but this in particular) and its arrival each winter is announced at my local cheese shop with a sign in the window. I stopped in yesterday and they only had five left; you have to buy the entire cheese, for a cost of $45.00 US in this shop...probably about 2 pounds or so from what I could guess; I did not ask. So what is the story with this cheese? Is there some sort of mystique due to limited availability in countries other than France? I was also surprised to hear that most, but not all, of the French cheeses sold in this shop are pasteurized; I thought they had to be in order to be sold in the US and that that was the reason that they taste so bland as compared to the same cheese sold in France. Anyone care to enlighten me? Thanks!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 08:48 AM
  #64  
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ira - Thanks for the warning but I think I will disregard your sage advice.

eks - You bring up some interesting observations. I, too, am confused about the pasteurized thing. I bought several French cheeses that were clearly marked unpasteurized at Whole Foods in the States. My daughter, when pregnant, was warned by the doctor not to eat feta cheese as (he said) it was unpasteurized.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 09:06 AM
  #65  
 
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Interesting. I thought it was taboo to have unpasteurized cheese since you apparently are not supposed to bring them through US customs. I have a feeling that a lot of places sell the real thing "under the counter" just like they sell Cuban cigars. But if Whole Foods, and my local store, has these, who knows...

I read a marvelous new book on forbidden foods recently that had a chapter on Epoisses in which the author discuses the whole pasteurization issue. I wish I could remember the name of the book. If I do I will post it.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 09:28 AM
  #66  
 
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I just took a cheese class last week through Artisinal in NYC. It was so good...french cheeses and wine pairings. There were a real mixture of cheeses from Cabecou Feuilie from the Perigord(goat dipped in plum brandy and sprinkled with pepper and wrapped in chestnut leaves), also from Burgandy Regal de Bourgogne w mustard coating, next Fleur du Maquis(a sheeps milk cheese rubbed with rosemary). From Dauphine in S.France, St Marcellin and from Poitou, Clochette de Chevre. We also had brie de la brie, tomme crayeuse (made inAuvergne) From the Phrenees, Abbay de Belloc. The last three were the stronger cheeses, Epoisses from Burgundy, Casinca Chevre from Corsica and Bleu des Causses a mild roquefort made in the Causses near Auvergne. It is very easy to buy mail order from artisanal (www.artisanalcheese.com) I have several times and the cheese comes in a cooler type thing. They have an amazing variety of cheeses. Some of my other favorites from Italy are Pecorino Tartufo which is addictive and Robiola Vite.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 10:23 AM
  #67  
 
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Well, ek, I don't know if there is anything mystical about Vacherin-Mont d'Or. It's a cheese available in winter only, and the taste becomes increasingly intense as winter proceeds; I like it best towards the end of its season. It's being aged with a strap of bark around it, which contributes much to its flavour.
2 pounds wouldn't seem much for an entire Vacherin-Mont d'Or - normally, it's the size of a Brie de Meaux, which should have rather 4 than 2 pounds. As a variety, small Vacherins are being produced, with less than 1 pound, but they are never up to the standard of the "true" Vacherin-Mont d'Or (as always, size and shape are more than important for ripening a cheese).
And as for pasteurized cheese, that's not a question of more or less healthy, but simply of more or less delicious...
franco is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 10:30 AM
  #68  
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oh cparris...Cabecou Feuilie from the Perigord(goat dipped in plum brandy and sprinkled with pepper and wrapped in chestnut leaves). Does that sound any good?
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Mar 16th, 2006, 11:36 AM
  #69  
 
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One of my favourite French moments is a neighbour saying to me how she loved checking the supermarket cheese selection on a Saturday morning, before anyone had been there to disturb the various pieces. "Looking at all that cheese makes me proud to be French!" Bien sur, je suis d'accord.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 11:41 AM
  #70  
 
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Thanks, Franco. The Vacherin I saw at Ideal Cheese was probably 4 pounds or so..not two as I originally wrote. It looked more or less like about 8 inches diameter. So I guess the signs I see are just to alert fans that it is in stock, no mystique about it as I had thought. I know that the pasteurization supposedly kills the taste; that is why they usually taste better in Europe. But I was surprised because if unpasteurized cheese is allowed to be sold here in US, why would anyone want the pasteurized product except maybe pregnant women? Do pregnant women eat cheese in France?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 12:36 PM
  #71  
 
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Each autumn the return of Mont d'Or celebrates the affinity between wood and cheese. Direct contact with its restricting box and the spruce bands that encircle it impregante Mont d'Or with a soft balsamic aroma.

This is above all a winter cheese and only in demand when the temperature plummets. Indeed originally it was only made from All Saints day to EAater. The cheeses sit in the cellar at least three weeks. (courtesy Guide to the Cheeses of the World)
sheila is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 01:38 PM
  #72  
 
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ek, I know the French cheeses better than the country itself, but I think there are several Fodorites more knowledgeable than I am on France, and who might know if French women eat or not non-pasteurized cheese when pregnant (personally, I find it hard to imagine that they should stop eating it - after all, they are used to eat it every day of their whole life).
The problem with cheese made of pasteurized milk is that pasteurization would kill all the germs in the milk, but all the enzymes as well - and the enzymes are contributing most to the milk's taste. Personally, I think it's thoroughly absurd to fear anything from germs in a cheese. This was a problem in former centuries, when hygiene standards were insufficient (yes, THAT'S what makes cheese dangerous), but not today - since hygiene during production is everywhere up-to-date, raw milk's cheese won't do you any harm.
What is often overseen, however, is that you should never eat the crust of a cheese. With several cheeses (above all, the "washed crust" cheeses like, to stay in France, tomme de Savoie or Saint Nectaire), the crust is simply dirty, full of sand and dust accumulated during the ageing process; and in any case, the crust is where most germs live. Nothing dangerous, of course, but you might well catch cold by eating cheese crust.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 02:06 PM
  #73  
 
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A big thanks to both of you. Franco, I often eat the rind..little did I know! I also think it would be odd if French women did not eat cheese while pregnant. Personally, I hate to admit this but there are very few foods that I would not be interested to sample at least once. And I love Italian cheese, too! Shiela, you sound like a woman after my own heart, as we say here in the US.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 02:12 PM
  #74  
 
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I was told they can bring in the raw milk cheese if they are aged a certain length of time...
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Mar 16th, 2006, 02:19 PM
  #75  
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Here is a site where you can listen to a discussion in French about eating the rind of cheese.

http://french.about.com/library/list...ranslation.htm

Included is a French written transcript of the discussion as well as an English translation.
How great is that - listen and read in French about cheese - with English in case?
robjame is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 12:27 PM
  #76  
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To clarify the unpasteurized cheese thing... I was talking to the cheese guy at Whole Foods in Oakville and he said that Unpasteurized cheese can be sold after 90 days in the US, after 60 days in Canada (soon to be 45 days). A cheese maker can tell within 21 days if there is bad bacteria in the cheese. The shame is that some cheeses are better served within that 90 day window. Of course this explains why we cannot buy unpasteurized yogurt in North America (the yogurts taste so good in France).
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Apr 11th, 2006, 02:43 PM
  #77  
 
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"the yogurts taste so good in France"

...to say nothing of the yogurts in Turkey!!!
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Apr 11th, 2006, 03:08 PM
  #78  
 
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I love all the French cheeses but my preferences are with the chevres.

franco, I love the little glass jars the yogurt comes in. I brought one home.
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Apr 11th, 2006, 08:19 PM
  #79  
 
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Anything un-pasteurized! Vive la difference!

And, in Paris, there is a little fromagerie around the corner from Poujauron (the best boulangerie in Paris!) that will pack up anything you want for the plane in air-sealed pouches!

asa4 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 08:47 PM
  #80  
 
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love the list ..i will look at whole foods...the only wish I have was that they were accompanied by a description..

I often look at the cheese and wonder about the taste or similarity to other more familiar cheeses..sometimes when I shop i dont want a variation of brie,blue,chevre,Neufchatel,swiss.. can you describe those unusual ones?

I always pass as I fear i will be disappointed for 5-6 bucks....what are two or three i should get at Whole foods??
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