When European councils of food come to New York, it’s always an adventure. Beginning in a wonderland of Francophile curds, the French know their way around some whey. Brought to you by Cheeses of Europe, in partnership with La Ligue des Fromegers Extradoinaires, an association born under the Colectif Fromaginaire, a movement whose job it is to put cheese into the public eye and, most importantly, in places where it is not actively appreciated. Through events that are festive, creative and instructive in nature (see below for cheese themed décor), the ligue aims to gather people together to share the pleasure of cheese with as many people as possible.
During a walking tour beginning at the exemplary Soho fromagerie French Cheese Board, I was surrounded by a slew of non-English speaking cheese nerds, and I couldn’t have been happier. After bombing a blind taste test of a strong Comte, I was almost ready to call it a day but decided to at least make it to the next location. Dodging fat, glossy raindrops, I arrived at an open space on Bowery and Kenmare Street that was FILLED. WITH. CHEESE. I had a strong inkling I had escaped Manhattan and surreptitiously ascended to heaven, and I wasn’t mad about it.
In the center of this loft-like space was a tiny town entirely made of cheese, including an electronic train that circled through the town with delicious dairy cargo. Scattered among what I like to refer to as a cheese ballroom, were small high-top tables with baskets of bread and orange slivers that resembled goldfish but in reality were (you guessed it) a hard, orange cheese. There was also a bar with a delightful array of French wines, include a Provencal rosé, a very dry Riesling from Alsace, and a wonderful sparkling brut.
In the rear of the space is a fully functional kitchen, where a balding French chef works diligently to create different dishes with the spread of French cheese. I enjoyed a tiny but filling bowl of quinoa risotto with Camembert, and it was mind blowing.
If your heartbeat starts to quicken when you think about cheese, check out French Cheese Board on Spring Street to further your cheeseducation and make your heart and your stomach happy.
Twisted Talk: Have you ever been to French Cheese Board? What’s your favorite kind of cheese? Discuss below!