Saturday, 16 February 2013

Bread and Cheese.



My oldest son, Kimbo, is a wonderful chap. He knows exactly what to bring over from Blighty for his Papa when he visits. Some tasty little tit-bit, speciality, or difficult to find ingredient, is always revealed on arrival.

On his last visit he brought cheese. Some Extra Mature Double Gloucester, some Canadian Vintage Cheddar, and another (that I can't remember) which we ate whilst he was here (all from Tesco).

I've said before that out of the (roughly) 365 cheeses that are produced here in France, very few come anywhere near the standard of a good mature English or Canadian Cheddar. 

One really would have thought that with so many wonderful cheeses just north of the Channel, that they would take advantage. But no; I have to rely on my son for the occasional treat.  

Only once have I found Cheddar in a French supermarket. It was labelled 'Seriously Tasty Cheddar', but it wasn't; it was bland. But then with a name like that, what would you expect. Sadly, if that was a Frenchman's only experience of English cheese, then it's not surprising that they're not clambering for more!

Merçi mon petit.


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24 comments:

  1. Looking at this post Doug noticed the Opinel knife and informed me that they are available here in Whangarei in the surplus shop. I must pay them a visit.

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    1. I have about 10 of them. Mostly No 8's, but that particular one is a No 9; my daily eating knife.

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  2. I'm SHOCKED, I tell you. I thought France was known for its excellent cheeses.

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    1. That's what it tells the rest of the world! In fact there are about 5 different cheeses which I buy, and enjoy; the rest are just bland.

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  3. Perhaps you should set up a little business importing all those treats you miss and taking them round in a white van to all the ex-pats.

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    1. Either that or stick hot knitting needles in my eyes; I'm still thinking!

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  4. I don't think that the French shake their cows well enough before making their cheeses. A cow has to be lifted into the air and waggled about an awful lot before the cheese will have any taste.

    p.s. cheesey-cheese is possibly one thing I actually do miss being vegan, but nothing like enough to make me want to eat it!

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  5. I'd settle for a hunk of that bread!

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  6. I too thought France was famous for it cheeses and I have to say we did discover a couple we liked on our last visit ... Comte one was called as I remember. I just eavesdrop at the cheese stand at the markets to find out the ones people choose as there is so much choice. ( I do it in England too but remembering the names from visit to visit is difficult).
    We do produce a few really nice cheeses here too though I'm told the fact that all milk must be pastuerised first here does influence the flavour of the cheese.
    There's nothing can beat French bread though!

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    1. I've had some excellent Aussie Cheddars. And, you're right about the bread; the one above is just wonderful.

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  7. I think we have now actually eclipsed the French on the cheese-front, having brought back dozens of local varieties which almost disappeared forever.

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  8. Canadian cheddar...white, aged, old nippy. It'll give you cankers but it's sooooo good. I miss cheese.

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    1. little tender spots on your gums.

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  9. How funny - we've just bought another three *French cheeses from Sainsbury's in the Uk, on their 4 for £10 'cheese collections' special ( the fourth was a Spanish Manchego). We love French cheese and the visit to the cheese ladies van at our local Normandy market is always a treat.

    Though I do agree that the variety and quality of English /UK cheese is much improved these days. And we do often try different and local varieties, especially from farmers' markets. Mr EM was mainly brought up in North Staffs and Cheshire, close to Nantwich home of the International Cheese Show. He loves Blue Cheshire which is a red 'blue' not unlike Shropshire Blue that we often have to settle for.

    *The French cheeses we bought this time are:
    Goats' cheese log from Poitou-Charente, Brie Pays from the Loire valley, and Camembert Pays made near the Brittany Coast (odd because I thought Camembert was a Normandy cheese) but both these last are made from Unpasturised milk, with appropriate warnings re pregnant women etc.

    Looking forward to lunch with sourdough bread from our local independent bakery.

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    1. My list would include St Agur, Roquefort, Salers, The Goat log you mention, and maybe a good mature Cantal. 'President' do a very good Camembert called 'Campagne', which is designed to be perfect.

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    2. Oh, and when I was briefly living in Shropshire, I used to buy WHOLE Shropshire blue cheeses (at Whitchurch market) that were slightly beyond their sell-by-date.... they were wonderful.

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  10. There are some excellent cheeses made by artisan cheesemakers here in New Zealand.

    For lunch I had very nice blue cheese. Unfortunately, beinggluten free the breads are not so wonderful.

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  11. We have 4 kiddos ages 32 down to 22. Our oldest son is always the ones who bring the geriatric folk (us) little treats. Sometimes coffees or chocolates, special breads and even some fancy bullets for his mama's pistol He's a grand one he is. Enjoy your cheese!

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  12. Dont forget that the top Cheese maker in France this year is English - Matthew Feroze!!!

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    1. I think Matt would refer to himself as a 'Cheesemonger', but well done him!

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  13. When i lived in Pennsylvania, Aaron, the Amish chap from whom i bought raw milk also made a raw milk aged Cheddar that was wonderful. Himself, much more a cheese conoisseur than i, could make an entire meal of the stuff.

    At the current location, i haven't found a cheddar to rival Aaron's, but i have found two places that have Stilton, which has made Himself supremely happy.

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  14. Mmm...... I love vintage, salty old cheese. We have one here called "Old Bitey'. I can't stand those 'soapy' blocks of yellow, that some call 'cheese'. My father loved his bread and cheese, but I guess that's the norm for an old dutchman! Sue

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