Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wicked cheeses

I haven't done a film review from last Sunday's film club. We watched Driving Miss Daisy, the 1989 Best Film winner at the Oscars. If you haven't seen it already, then the chances are anything I have to say on the matter will be entirely superfluous. (Not that that's any different to usual).

So, instead I'll review the cheeseboard that Mrs The Millbrooker and I wheeled out after the film as our contribution to the evening's nibbles.

Dong and Shazzerooneypoos had generously brought along some of my favourite anchovy fillets in garlic which I think I polished off almost single-handedly, so proffering a fair spread of French fat seemed like the decent thing to do.Well, that's a jolly nice photo of Shazzerooneypoos doing her concerned look as Mrs The Millbrooker imparts a tale of woe about The Depitty's lodgings whilst Dong looks on wondering how to get The Hoover (his slightly younger equivalent to our The Depitty) to embrace a course of study or employment. However, we're here to look at cheese, so let's go in a little closer:Starting from the front left, we have an ever-so-slightly ripe Camembert trying to sneak off the board by crawling out of its rind whilst whiffing delightfully of old and unwashed socks. This little round of soured milk was quite young when we plucked it from the shelf of the Geant hypermarket in Morlaix (yes, I know we should be using fresh produce markets, but time didn't permit) and is a bog standard "rustique" branded Camembert. We allowed it to fester a bit at room temperature before refridgerating for about a week. It's still going strong (I had some in my sarnie today) and I think strong is getting to be the word. Highly recommended.Sitting behind it is the deliciously sharp semi-hard (ooh, matron) Tomme de Montagne. A nice Tomme is a great accompaniment to the stronger, more gasp-inducing component parts of a cheese board. Tangy, nutty and just a tiny bit sharp on the tongue; Tomme should be eaten quite young. It manages to cut through the creamier flavours of the soft cheeses, performing a similar role to good old cheddar on an English cheese board, but with a shrugged shoulder and faint whiff of Gauloises.Slightly behind and to the right of the Tomme is a slice of exceptionally stinky and ripe Roquefort. Now Roquefort is royalty amongst French cheeses: big, salty and veiny (remind you of anything?). Roquefort is made with ewes' milk and thus is an entirely different taste experience to its renowned English counterpart, Stilton (which is one of my very favourite cheeses), and the flavour combination of a mouthful of decent Roquefort immediately washed down with an equally decent Bordeaux is one of the classic gourmand combinations. Don't miss it.Lastly on our film club plat des fromages is one we'd never tried until our recent holiday. It's an Epoisse. It's making a similar effort to sidle gently off the board to the Camembert. It's every bit as creamy as the Camembert and yet unarguably even more pungent, the odour remains on your fingers for a long time after handling and might take some explaining in the wrong quarters. The carrying of Epoisse on public transport is reputedly banned in France (although how they'd police that, heaven only knows). I think Epoisse is my favourite of what I consider to be a jolly nice bunch of calorie count busters.

Now, how's my diet doing...


Links from this post.

Click to learn a bit more about the very smelly Epoisse cheese. And about Roquefort. And about Tomme. And about Camembert. Or perhaps you really want to know about Driving Miss Daisy.

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