The grim weather is lifting! I see no trees sprouting their green buds but have strolled into my first snail this year. Spring must surely be around the corners for the snails to have finally peeked out around their sputumous doors and ventured forth. Yet I still feel little motivation to shed my winter blubber. In fact, I have been industriously adding to it on account of my re-awakened love for cheese.
all sparkled off a few weeks back went I went to France with my
siblings (and friends) to scrunch in some end-of-season skiing. I'm a
about this activity, and it is for causes like this that I have been
marking my weekly stack of lab reports, and wailing inwardly every
moment of it too. But besides being the most awesome sport in the world,
this was likely to be the last time in a while
that us three 'children' of the family would ski together.
grinding inexorably on and, more and more, each of us are living our own
little lives. My sister is flailing about trying to clutch back what
few few hours she can from the beast that is work, while my brother is
abandoning us for the city of opportunity, New York. So next year will
see me all alone without the familiar midnight bellows of my brother, ordering gamers to desist from their lemony ways.
so off we poddled to Meribel, in the Savoie region of France.
Admittedly the skiing was not stupendous. The snow was heavy and
decidedly slushy, and for 5 of our 6 days out there, the visibility was
so poor that at times we struggled to see the next marker along the
piste. It was faintly disconcerting that we could not tell on which side
of the markers we were on, either: safe on the piste, or carving to our
doom. There was only one beautiful day with clean blue skies (in the
distance, you may just be able to make out my brother making his way off
piste in search of powder and, under grayer conditions, my brother and
his friends). The food was good, but wasn't really the priority.
that, it may just be possible that the best thing about this holiday
was the company. The chalet we stayed at housed a few other families.
The most notable of them constituted of oneof
the most intelligent fellow I have every encountered, his lovely French
wife, and their progeny who is also doing a PhD. Needless to say, under
such lofty scrutiny I capped my prattlings that they may never know the
true extent of our intellectual disparity.
such a wealth of knowledge (stark remainder to self not to get too
cornered into my own little subject- that fellow knows so much from such
varied subjects too), those were some of the more interesting mealtime
banters I have perched through. However, with regards to cheese, it was
his wife and her precious trove of all the little Parisian
idiosyncrasies that naturally took precedence.
in London and off supermarket cheese, I always felt the rind to be the
best part of soft cheeses. Everything is gooey and creamy, and I quite
enjoyed the mouldy taste. But with our continental companion, that was
an absolute 'non', it spoils the taste of the cheese. Amidst
howls of dissent she did grudgingly assent that perhaps it was
acceptable, on the condition that we painstakingly scrape off the mould
from the rind. But that was as far as cheesy concession was pushed, the
poor lady fairly refused to speak to my brother after he suggested our
common British practice of baking Camembert.
that time, I managed to procure the fabled Mont D'or, as well as
several regional cheeses such as Reblochon, Tome de Savioe and my
absolute favourite, Beaufort d'alpage. Having now had a taster of good
(and ripe) French cheese, I have to say she is right. The rind does
detract and is a poor compensation for the true cheese flavor. But it is
no wonder the British-raised likes the rind though. Of what
supermarkets typically offer, it is cheese around the rind that is most
mellowy ripe and flavorful.
now I'm afraid I've turned rather snobbish towards cheese. Supermarket
fare usually disappoints and it is a rare gem of a pasteurized cheese
that satisfies. Harkening back to the cheese course at Le Cordon Bleu,
no matter what concoction of bacteria we pump back into the milk after
pasteurizing it, it is hard to achieve the spectrum that lived before
(sans the bad stuff), so the poor cheese becomes just a little feeble.
a result of this new obsession, cheese has been instilled as an
after-dinner must, and also as a new snacking option- it has even begun
to supplant chocolate. Indeed, I have mustered quite a selection. Not
ten minutes since, this included three different Tomes (de Savoie
infused with truffles, de brebis, de chevre), a Beaufort d'alpage (I had
the man hack me 30 euros of the stuff after first tasting it in
France), Comte, Mont D'or, Gouda, and my brother's horseradish flavored
Cheddar. Sadly in the time it has taken me to write this post, I've
nibbled through the Comte and two Tomes, and my remaining cheese stocks
are worryingly low. Time to embark on another cheese hunt.
is a remarkable lack of cheese photos, mostly because I can't wait to
get started and, as I keep my own company, have rather savage habits
such as chopping off the point of the cheese.)
This blog will be moving to a new, more appropriately named, domain soon: www.feeding-times.com.
Updates soon to come!