I’m a cheese person. I’d choose it over chocolate any day. In 2007, when my friend KV Villareal and I featured Christmas pastries for ShopCrazy, we didn’t have any trouble splitting the goods. Her weakness was chocolate so she ended up sampling most of the chocolate-laced cakes, while I gladly took everything with cheese in it.
So, cheese is another thing to love about France–or make that 200 or more, since they have that many kinds of cheeses! Charles de Gaulle, founder of the French Fifth Republic, once said, “Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?” (How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?) To the French, a meal without cheese isn’t a complete meal. Back in module 5, we even wrote meal plans complete with cheese of any kind (yogurt is an option, too).
I haven’t been to France nor tasted all 246 kinds yet, so I can’t say which one is the best. But so far, may favorite is le brie, which is pretty easy to find in supermarkets everywhere. It’s a soft, buttery, creamy cheese named after Brie, the province where it is made. It tastes slightly like mushrooms, and very good to wedge in between sandwiches. I usually eat it with crackers. It’s nice with a bit of honey, as advised by my friend Philou, who likes to tease me about my brie obsession. But it’s also great to just eat it as is.
Camembert is very similar to brie in appearance, but this cheese from Normandy is slightly sweeter. I’m not one to debate about which tastes better, since I’ve had camembert about twice in my life. But I’m all for brie any day. Unless, of course, I’m given the chance to taste other French cheeses and see if something else can top my love for brie.
How about you? What’s your favorite French cheese?