If there’s one thing the French do very well, it’s cheese. And this was not disproven last Thursday when the French Cheese Board (the organization with its NY HQ in Midtown, not a plank for serving the stuff, though those were represented, too) opened its doors to showcase 20 of the country’s leading cheeses.
While these were mainly larger manufacturers displaying their wares (President is like France’s Land O’Lakes), even French grocery staples put the average American dairy aisle to shame. My personal favorite cheeses of the evening included:
- Le Pico by Germain, an aged goat cheese that comes round and rindy, with a gooey center much like brie
- Fourme D’Ambert, an aged blue cheese from the Avergne region in the middle of France. It felt more like a Stilton than the Roqueforts you usually picture when you think French blues
- Isigny Ste Mere Pont L’Eveque from Normandy, this washed rind cheese won the Medaille D’Or for its smooth texture and sophisticated flavor (like camembert’s bad-ass cousin)
- Le Fromage Fouette from Paysan Breton, a light and airy cream cheese out of Brittany that will put your Philadelphia to shame.
- Buche au Lait De Chevre from Soignon was a superb goat cheese that would marry very well with some toast and green salad.
Of course, no French cheese event (or any French event) is complete without good quality bubbles, and Champagne Pommery in rose and regular was on pour.
Decorating the walls of the pop-up event was a photo exhibit showcasing photographer Colombe Clier’s Milk series. Meanwhile, cheese expert and author of the book The Cheese Plate, Max McCalman gave a live webinar at the event, describing the art of serving cheese. He recommended removing the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, then arrange three to five varieties on a plate, in order of mildest to strongest flavor. So grab some French cheese, fresh fruit, nuts and sliced baguette, et voila!
Twisted Talk: What’s your favorite French cheese? Have you visited the French Cheese Board? Discuss below!