How much LANGRES are we going to wait?

13 Jul

So the other day I was late.

I was late to go to a friends house as I was distracted by free-flow wine at my work-place. I am not proud of my lateness, but I feel that the above free booze situation counts as a semi-valid excuse.

To make amends for this lateness I popped into the Tesco at Liverpool Street and decided to buy treats…..and what better treats than Tesco Finest Langres cheese and Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice-cream?

The tool of forgiveness

The friendship-fixer

On the way to my friends house I bumped into a colleague who scoffed at my choice of forgiveness tactics– but she could not take part in our cheese and ice-cream feast and so sadly could never know the power of a cheese and ice-cream pairing. I still to this day feel a bit sorry for her. One day she’ll know….one day.

To re-create this wonderful friendship affirming Langres moment I popped into La Cave a Fromage in South Kensington today to buy some cave aged prime quality Langres, darling. A step up from my drunken ‘Tesco Finest’ night as I knew this one was going to be ripe and mature- a sober and more powerful alternative.

 

A mini volcano of cheesy goodness

A mini volcano of cheesy goodness

Langres hails from the Champagne-Ardenne region of France so straight away it screams decadence. You can just think of Marie Antoinette sipping her champagne, eating her cake and tucking into a nice plate of Langres (I’m also sure she would have been a HUGE fan of Ben & Jerrys). That being said when I peeled away it’s wrapper it’s orange coating made me think of someone rubbing Doritos or Cheetos onto its exterior…which brought down the decadent tone just a tad.

The little volcano indent found at the top of the cheese means you can pour your champagne straight onto this bad boy (or I presume any drink of choice?) and it will hold the alcohol like a mini cup letting it breach into its insides for extra flavour– sometimes it can even be washed in Marc de Champagne. Fancy that- a cheese with a champagne bath?! This cheese would definitely own a few very big houses in the country.

‘Chateau de Langres’…just a casual weekend getaway (actually Chateau Perrier in Epernay for any curious readers…but we can but pretend)

Langres is a complex character– posh background, AOC protected status, common crisp coloured exterior and when you bite into it you get a range of tastes and textures.

First it’s sour- a bit like butter-milk, next it’s a bit sweet- (perhaps a hint of condensed milk?), tangy bursts, Sweet and sour and then an acidic after-taste. In a weird way it sort of reminded me of eating grapefruit– you get one taste whilst eating it, but then a completely different after-taste. A deceiver of a cheese perhaps?

It’s texture is soft and pate-like with a bit of crumble in the middle- it envelops the mouth and leaves no taste-bud left unturned.

Langres shares a cheese family with Epoisses and Munster- cheese heavy-weights. Huge stinky beasts of cheese that would dominate a whole room. Epoisses is even banned from French public transport as it’s so dominating. In comparison Langres is memorable yet inoffensive. A gentleman with a dodgy family that may never go through his rebellious phase.

‘Good-day to you kind cheese eaters…I do hope you have not met my brothers’

Ironically, in my failure to be an ideal dinner guest I bought a cheese that would make the ideal dinner companion. Complex, inoffensive yet powerful, hailing from a background of champagne baths, with a host of interesting family stories. Langres might leave a bitter taste in your mouth but in its presence you are captivated and left wanting more.

So in a nutshell: I may have been late, but the Langres was definitely worth waiting for.

And with that I shall leave you with Paula Cole’s ‘I Don’t Want to Wait’ (of Dawson’s Creek theme tune fame)…..because at the end of the day, waiting encouraged this Langres eating and who wants to wait for our lives to be over before eating this scrumptious gentleman of a cheese? Definitely not me.

 

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Row, row, row your La Gabarre gently down the Loire…

12 Jul
How cute is this?

How cute is this? There’s goats in the boat!

Isn’t it so much better when something has novelty value? Personally I’m a sucker for a dinky back story and this thick and creamy goats cheese from the Loire Valley is no exception.

My flatmate and I went to La Cave a Fromage in South Kensington (it’s basically our new favourite hang out) with one mission- to get a new cheese to replace our depleted Comte. We wanted it to be strong but subtle, more of a swimmer than a bodybuilder, a real contender for our tastebuds but sensitive to our fridge’s delicate olfactory balance (i.e. we didn’t want our vegetables smelling like cheese).

We were met by cheese man extroadinaire David from Portugal who patiently answered our questions, let us try whichever cheese we pointed to and then acted interested when I told him I was out on a very important cheese blogging mission.

Your friendly local cheese team- Kat and David!

Your friendly local cheese team- Kat and David!

After watching us mooch about the shop for circa 8 minutes contemplating which cheese was best to bring home to our needy fridge and experiencing first hand Comte’s awkward phase with a disappointing tasting (kind of like being told on parents evening that Comte wasn’t really working hard enough) David decided to take matters into his own hands and leading us away from the creamy goats cheeses took us to the front of the shop where he confronted us with La Gabarre– a dense goats cheese shaped like a dodgy brick.

He then proceeded to tell us why the cheese was shaped like it was. Back in ye olden days wine was transported throughout the Loire Valley on flat bottomed wooden boats called Gabarre. My novelty-loving side was already doing an excited dance– this cheese was not just a cheese but a cultural homage! When I found out that goats were also transported on these boats to graze on the Loire’s islands I was sold- a goats cheese inspired from a boat to transport a goat– it was lyrical and poetic and to be honest I was going to buy it regardless of what it tasted like (yes, I am a salespersons dream).

Is it a boat? Is it a cheese?

Is it a boat? Is it a cheese?

Luckily the cheese was more than just a historical back story and actually tasted delicious. Thick and dense, biting into this was kind of like drowning your mouth in a vat of goats butter. If it wasn’t a cheese it could probably have had a career being glue. It certainly sticks to the roof of your mouth.

The cheese had a slight vinegary, tangy flavour. Kind of like the sour candy of the cheese world. However, there was also a sweet element to it so the tanginess was not overbearing. It’s a bit of a mysterious flavour and I recommend trying it for yourself as whilst trying to decide what it most tasted like I ended up eating the whole thing in one sitting. This cheese is a sneaky one- not only was I duped by its back story, but also by its enigmatic taste. 

Much like an onion, or a tiered cake, or Shrek this cheese also had layers. There was the mouldy grainy exterior, a creamy yellow-ish outer layer followed by the dense butter like interior.

mmmm dense

mmmm dense

Ironically, La Gabarre’s density would sink the ship-shaped cheese so be warned not to play boats on the river with it.

So a quick Youtube search later I actually found a song about a goat on a boat with a stoat!

It is actually very surprising how much Youtube churns up when you search ‘goat in a boat’!

P.S. After reading a blog about Belgian beer I found out that La Gabarre goes best with a nice strong bitter. Big up the beer and cheese combos! http://belgium.beertourism.com/blog/cheese-and-beer-a-marriage-made-in-heaven

Comté and the Earth Song

11 Jun
cheese blog 016

All that was left of the cheese by the time I’d gotten round to photographing it

‘Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,

When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth! 

– Rudyard Kipling

If I felt I had the authority to alter a classic poem about how ‘really we’re all the same no matter where we come from’ I’d probably alter the third and fourth lines to state ‘But there is neither East nor West….When two strong men (or women….just to be politically correct) stand face to face, confronted with tasty cheese’.

Asia is not a continent revered for its cheeses. In fact handy dandy Wikipedia tells me under ‘Cultural Attitudes’ in its ‘Cheese’ entry (yup, worldwide attitudes are that important that they get their own section) that East Asian cuisine steers clear of cheese.

That being said, recently I’ve seen first-hand how my super-Chinese flatmate Dora discovered and then obsessed over a little cheese called Comté- what follows is a beautiful tale of how a historical French cheese overcame stereotypes and a lesson was learnt that ‘no matter your culinary background, great food will always triumph over those taste-buds’.

Dora guiltily staring at what was left of the cheese

Dora guiltily staring at what was left of the cheese

One day, after a visit to my parents house and a trip to Waitrose I brought back to Dora and I’s shared abode a Comté.

Comté is a hard cow’s milk cheese with a mature earthy taste that reminds you of Autumn leaves and foraged nuts- a Hippy Mother Earth of cheese if you will. Unassuming yet striking this cheese does not give off much of an aroma (making it a perfect travelling cheese- train and bus goers will not mind if you get picnicking next to them), however like a master of stealth once it hits your taste-buds it’s true guise is revealed- a refined mature Gallic cheese with a love for the country that would probably live somewhere deep in the woods with a bubbling brook and a cave nearby.

When Dora sidled up to me and asked if she could have a bite of my cheese, I could not foresee what can of worms was about to open. With an effect of what I imagine to be a bit like amphetamines, Dora’s eyes widened as she declared ‘OH MY GOD, IT’S SO GOOD!….IT’S LIKE A MIXTURE OF PARMESAN AND CHEDDAR….BUT BETTER…MMMMM’ and other such exclamations.

A couple of days later Dora’s culinary discovery led us to venture to South Kensington to a cheese shop entitled ‘La Cave a Fromage’. Here, we gleefully demanded that we wanted to try their finest Comté. With three strengths to choose from- mild, medium and mature, we found out that Comté is a slow developer who had a bit of an awkward phase. If Comté were a boy, he probably would have worn braces and not developed facial hair until well into his teens. Much like the ugly duckling Comté ripened with age. The mild was a bit too mild, the medium was just a bit too awkward whilst the mature was just right.

Comté: The Early Years

Comté: The Early Years

Unfortunately, this Asian cheese obsession did not just stop at Dora but spread to her sister too. She even developed a fun way of eating the cheese by scooping it out with a spoon much like an ice-cream scoop. Much Facetime [Iphone copyright] was had between the sisters discussing their addictive tendencies towards the cheese; but all in all, the cheese won out- the sisters were smitten.

Now, much like at the end of an American TV show, I will leave you with some parting deep and meaningful words of wisdom:

And so, much like after reading Kipling’s poem, a lesson can be learnt. No matter how different we think we are, a mutual respect for a good cheese (or a good dim sum, or curry, or tagine etc.) can always bring us together. After all, a need for food is universal to life and a common ground for all on Earth. #MAKEFOODNOTFIGHTS

And just to hone the message in and really over-do the ahem, cheesy-ness, of the end of this blog post I’ll leave you with Michael Jackson’s classic ‘Earth Song’. I just hope that Jarvis Cocker doesn’t come out to moon me.

p.s. The Comté from Waitrose was made in a disused military fort found in the hills of France in 1996 that apparently had the perfect micro-climate for the cheese to ripen- HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

If you want to find out more about Comté and its history check out its website: http://www.comtecheese.co.uk

A cheese festival, Mootown, Reblochon and a dairy farm

7 Jun
Cheese-Wine-Festival-at-London-s-Southbank-2012.JPG

Anyone fancy a nonchalant Stroll outside the Royal Festival Hall surrounded by cheese and wine? (picture taken from greatbritishchefs.com)

In the last weekend of April the space outside the Royal Festival Hall in Southbank, London was transformed into a sea of tents brimming with cheesy goodness and an abundance of alcohol- in my opinion two of life’s finest offerings. My friend Tash and I decided that this was too good to miss and so took the tube to Waterloo, all the while complaining that the journey was too long and wondering what delicacies would woo our taste buds upon arrival.

When we arrived the selection of goodies on offer was staggering. We did a quick whip round, realised we had no money and thus had to mission further to gather funds (Why is it so difficult to find a cash point in times of great need?). By the time we got back, we decided it was time for a drink- just a casual glass of champagne in the morning. Then it was on to getting as many free tasters as we could get our hands on, plus some hot mulled cider, plus some red wine plus any other alcoholic beverage that dared to cross our path.

What with all the alcohol and cheesy choice I was finding it difficult to get my brain to make decisions. Everything looked good and there was ooze galore. I felt like one of the fembots in Austin Powers short-circuiting at the sight of Austin’s tiny union jack underpants. It would appear that, poetically, cheese is the Austin to my fembot.

 

Finally, I made the decision to buy a tartiflette from an authentic French man (I do love an authentic accent). This friendly french dish consisted of potatoes, bacon, onions and Reblochon cheese. I even managed to swindle my way into extra melted Reblochon on top of my already cheesy plate. What can I say? cheese is my vice.

Some time during this meal I was told I would have to get to Kings Cross tout-suite in order to get to my friends farm on time for birthday celebrations. I panicked and ran to a stall containing welsh farm cheeses entitled Mootown. For some reason when I think of ‘Mootown’ I picture a cow super hero city where all the cows hang about in capes. With such an amazing name I figured their cheeses would follow suit.

A citizen of Mootown. (picture is a Super Lulu Card by sruble found on zazzle.com)

My purchase from Mootown was entitled ‘Golden Cenarth’. It had a slightly offensive smell, an orange rind and was concealed in a wooden box. All the makings of a great dairy course- but from past experience I am now wary of trusting any cheese on appearances and smell alone. One cannot truly know the character of a cheese until it is upon your tongue.

Centre of the picture, but would it hold its own in the centre of a cheese board?

It was opened at the dinner table and passed round for examination. All ate and all judged. The crews’ most prominent descriptions of Golden Cenarth, which was advertised as a ‘good farmyard cheese’ by the man at Mootown, were ‘inoffensive’, ‘subtle’, and ‘it looks and tastes like butter’. All in all an average and neutral contribution. I was at an actual farmyard and this was not a good farmyard cheese- DAMN YOU MOOTOWN, damn you and your catchy super-hero name! And while I’m damning things- damn you misleading wooden box and smell and orange pallor.

But all was not lost…being at a dairy farm (a dairy farm entitled Dorrington to be more precise- alliteration at its best) meant that cows were on hand to obtain a fresh pint of milk from. Dairy was instilled in our diets once more in all of its creamy glory.

Glee for milk

So although Mootown did not prevail, a good farmyard experience was had by all and the memories of reblochon tartiflette still hover over my cheese-addled brain. In fact, I am going to attempt to cook a homemade tartiflette right now to appease my urges.

For more information on Mootown please check out: http://www.mootown.co.uk/

To read more about the Cheese and Wine festival you can click here: http://www.cheesewinefestival.com/

and I will leave you with my attempt at correctly pronouncing reblochon:

Ha, I just found out that it’s a running French joke on how to pronounce Reblochon…who would have thought it! This is an actual advert:

Chocolate and Stilton and Port: Oh my!

8 May
Image

A fine balancing act?

So my friend Charlotte from the big city (pictured above) visited my little country bumpkin home the other day and with her she brought gifts. Having heard rumours of a master chocolatier that had concocted a Stilton and port truffle she headed down the road from her centrally located London office and into Paul A Young’s Wardour Street shop to purchase 4 such truffles at the astonishingly stifling price of £7.

I’m not going to deny that I’m a bit of a cheap skate- I love a good bargain and loathe being over-charged. I’m one of those people that jumps at the chance to express how, for example, ‘this whole meal for 10 people only cost me £5; isn’t the reduced aisle great?’ or ‘these shoes only cost me £2, second hand but already worn in- how wonderful!’.The one thing that I do not mind spending money on is cheese; if its got the look, the smell and the rustic/exotic name I am sold no matter how much the price. Therefore, since these chocolates contained Stilton their expensive price tag could temporarily be overlooked.

Temporarily being the key word.

Paul A Young is a chocolate pioneer; he loves to experiment with new flavours and is described on his website as an ‘inspirational…creative flavour alchemist’ whose concoctions are always ‘perfectly balanced‘. So far, so good; some may even say brilliant and give him a standing ovation. Some already have and have given him numerous awards. Plus he is a fellow red-head and that makes me want to support him even more.

I was thus ready to forget my previous disappointment when combining cheese and chocolate (please refer back to ‘When Chocolate met Cheese’ in the archives) and jump into Paul’s creation head over heels with no thoughts of turning back. Chocolate and cheese couplings could and would prevail! Second chances were worth giving and this time the results would be both beautiful and captivating.

But…

The chocolate taste was definitely there, the port was present, but where was the Stilton? Where was the tangy blue cheese flavouring? We chewed the truffle over…even going as far as to say that there was a ‘slight Stilton after-taste’ in order to avoid utter and irrevocable disappointment. We gave it a shrug, the shrug of neutrality. A fine chocolate that didn’t offer within it’s folds a fine cheesy taste-bud sensation. Paul’s balance was off the mark and if he was a tight rope walker he would have fell.

To put it harshly and dramatically these chocolates had been an over-priced lie.

I bemoaned this outcome for a little while before considering the old saying ‘the third time’s the charm‘ and also ‘three is the magic number’. Two disappointing chocolate and cheese experiences later yet I still believe there is a great CC(Chocolate cheese) out there, but like the ruins of Atlantis and El Dorado it’s treasures as of yet remain undiscovered to my cheese-biased palate.

Any suggestions in order to solve this great mystery would be warmly received.

In order to find out more about Paul A Young you can check out his website at: http://www.paulayoung.co.uk/

There is also an all together more cuddly and jovial article about him at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/feb/11/savoury-chocolate-recipes-work

(also written by a red-head: We are taking over!)

Charlotte assures me that, although this particular truffle failed to pass the uber-experimental mark, his shop is filled with other wonders such as Salt and Black Pepper Brownies and Marmite flavoured truffles. Also, his countless awards can’t all be irksome lies and the chocolate itself was divine, albeit lacking in Stilton flavour.

For now, I will leave you with this Schoolhouse Rock classic and continue to hope that my third CC tasting will be a resounding success.

Also, I just realised from Youtube comments that the video is actually three minutes long. Ah, good old School House Rock- always consistent.

J’adore Rocamadour!

9 Apr
Rocamadour fda.jpg

By the way, this is not my picture. I found it on Rocamadour's Wikipedia page. Hopefully the copyright men and women don't come and find me.

No, the picture above is not a setting for a real life version of Tangled or Shrek. No princesses await their princes in lofty towers looking out across the sun-kissed landscape hoping for their day of freedom to come. This fairytale setting is in fact a lovely little village entitled Rocamadour that had been visited for centuries ‘due to it’s historical buildings and a sanctuary for the Blessed Virgin Mary’ (thank you Wikipedia for your bountiful knowledge and delights). Back in the day Pilgrims to visit this sight did include Kings and bishops, but I’m going to be blasphemous and question these pilgrim’s intentions.

For you see not only does this picturesque wonderland house historical monuments and far-reaching views across Southern France’s Dordogne region, it is also home to a rather scrumptious goats cheese of the same name. Kings and bishops may have said that they wanted to travel afar to visit the Virgin’s sanctuary, but I bet you anything they also filled up the village’s cheesy delights before heading home.

Well, my parents went on a ‘pilgrimage’ to France last month and brought back loads of tasty cheese goodies- three packets of Rocamadour included. Luckily, the cheese is available in all the local supermarkets nowadays so you don’t need religious excuses to get a taste. As you can see from the above picture the cheese comes in a wooden box- as said in a previous post, a wooden box is usually a sign of tastiness to come. Rural and yet stylishly so a wooden box epitomises class and timeless originality. Rightly so for this cheese as it was awarded Appelation d’origine contrôlée in 1996. This translates to controlled designation of origin; in other words the cheese is now specifically associated with it’s traditional birthplace so no-one can hi-jack it for themselves and get all the credit like a no good cheese recipe stealing scoundrel.

The goats cheese itself is circular with a thin rind housing a splendidly soft creamy paste that oozes all over it’s wooden box when left out of the fridge. It is good in salads, on toast, with walnuts, with honey, by itself, maybe not so much dipped in Marmite…I’ve even been to a restaurant in France called La Meynardie where they made it into ice-cream! The small, circular shape of the cheese gives it a gourmet feeling as do all things good that come in ridiculously tiny portions. It is not unknown to eat a whole packet in one sitting. The taste is pretty farmyard-y; it doesn’t mess about. Yet, somehow it does not overpower. The perfect cheese for a summer picnic by a bubbling brook but just as equally perfect for a winter’s evening by the fire with a bottle (glass?) of red wine. Just don’t take it on a long sweaty hike as you may find only a pile of ooze at the bottom of your ruck-sack by the time you settle down to eat it. And again, bag licking is not deemed couth in polite society

And OH MY GOD- a French man has even written a song about Rocamadour- no lie. From my basic French I can determine that he is talking about meeting his ‘amour’ in the ‘Grotte de Rocamadour’ and how it is sunny and pretty. Listen carefully and I’ll bet he says something about ‘fromage’. Maybe that’s how he lured her there, that or his sexy accordion. 

If this crazy French man’s video and the fact that Rocamadour rhymes with both ‘Amour’ and ‘Adore’ don’t make you want to go out and bulk buy massive packets of the goaty medallions I don’t know what will!

When Chocolate met Cheese

19 Mar

What a snazzy menu.

We’ve all been there. That dreaded moment at a restaurant when you’ve finished your main and now it’s time to choose: cheese or dessert. Quel horreur! Whatever is a girl to do?

Well…according to a gastronomic experiment conducted by ‘The Chocolate Tasting Club’ the answer is simply to mix the two together to make a lovely boundary pushing canapé. Thus ‘The Cheese Tasting Experience’ was born from the creative minds at ‘Hotel Chocolat’.

This sounds all well and good in theory and I have to admit I was intrigued when my all-knowledgeable Grandpa (he’s a real life Gandalf) mentioned he had been sent all the ingredients and would like me to join him for a casual tasting one afternoon. However, I had my doubts that this idealism would translate to food reality. And so, to satiate my curiosity, one Friday I began my intrepid journey away from the traditions of old and into the weird and wonderful mixed up world of what I will term the ‘chocolate cheese’. CC for short.

All the ingredients necessary for intrepid cheese and chocolate tasting

1. First Chocolate Cheese (CC): The Nut Hamper

Although this name suggests that it might contain all the ingredients necessary for a squirrel’s picnic, it actually only contains one nutty element. Bit disappointing to any hopeful squirrels out there. To make this concoction one must slice a bit of Lincolnshire Poacher cheese (described as somewhere between Cheddar and Swiss mountain cheese) add a couple of cocoa nibs and a dab of hazelnut paste and then add a bit of dark chocolate. Unfortunately, our general verdict for this mixture was that the ingredients were better off on their own. As my mum rightly put ‘the cheese ruins the chocolate and the chocolate ruins the cheese’. So far, so bad. The answer to the dessert/cheese dilemma was not to be found in CC number one. No Utopia here Thomas Moore. But perseverance is key and so it was on to the next one.

2. Second CC: The Cheesecake

A most apt and ironic name, ‘The Cheesecake’ consisted of THE MOST DELICIOUS CHEESE IN THE WORLD ‘Petit Délice, chopped crystallised orange and orange milk chocolate (Terry’s chocolate orange will probably do). I was told from the handy tasting menu that ‘Petit Délice’ is usually classed as a pudding cheese due to its intensely rich flavour. Maybe this was why the combination sort of worked; pudding cheese with orange chocolate didn’t sound too exotic on paper which may have lulled naive taste buds into a false sense of normality. However, I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed with the fact that the cheese taste hit first, followed by the chocolate. To be honest, all I really wanted was a big wheel of Petit Délice all to myself and the go ahead from the almighty that I could eat it all and not gain weight whatsoever. The general verdict was favourable, but it was still no ‘two thumbs up, way up’.

3. Third CC: The Blue Olive

No prizes for guessing the ingredients of this one. As you have no doubt surmised ‘The Blue Olive’ consisted of a blue cheese ‘Cropwell Bishop Stilton’, niçoise olives and dark chocolate. I thought this combination was the best yet. However, this could be because I appreciate the fine taste of the humble olive. Unsurprisingly our two resident olive haters did not appreciate CC number 3. This may be because like George Michael in Wham an olive tends to steal the limelight (what even is the other guys name from Wham?). So the verdict was that this combination was like Marmite, you either loved it or you hated it (What a catchy slogan eh?). However, I learned a fact from the menu card that I can now share with you: did you know that stilton cheese is named after the village in which the dairy is based? I sure didn’t…but now I do. BOOM.

4. Fourth CC: The Honey Pie

‘Honey Pie’ sounds like a sickly sweet name couples in love refer to each other as. Similarly, this CC was sickly. Unfortunately, it was not sickly due to too much love. This canapé consisted of Driftwood Goats Cheese, roasted cocoa nibs, honey and dark chocolate. Usually the best is saved for last. However, it appears that this tradition was also broken in the experimental  ‘The Cheese Tasting Experience’. All members present made a unanimous decision that this was the worst yet. Too sweet, too strange. I don’t think even Winnie the Pooh with his honey obsession would make room in his diet for this unfortunate CC. Again, the cheese needed to shed the chocolate and vice versa.

The instructions for this ill-fated tasting extravaganza.

To conclude, on that fateful Friday I learnt a valuable lesson: sometimes traditions are there for a reason. However much I wanted this idealistic answer to the dessert/cheese dilemma to work, it just didn’t. In fact, it left me with an insatiable desire to eat as much solo cheese as I could get my ravenous paws on. I spent the next two days gorging on various cheeses salty delights, no chocolate in sight.

Mixing chocolate with savoury ingredients may work for the woman in Chocolat, but I don’t think serving these CC’s would bag you a long-haired, guitar playing Johnny Depp (let’s all pause to remember him in that film though, sigh. Good thoughts).

‘When chocolate met Cheese’ was unfortunately not a ‘When Harry met Sally’ moment; there were no inappropriate sounds of food-induced pleasure coming from the table and no happy ending for the chocolate and cheese pairings. Sad but true.

Me working hard to achieve a beautifully presented Chocolate Cheese.

To learn more about ‘The Chocolate Tasting Club’ please visit this website: www.chocs.co.uk and then you can have chocolate boxes delivered to your house!

For a further look at the ‘Cheese Tasting Experience’ and what looks like an informational video with some Spanish guitar background music check out: http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/Cheese-Chocolate-ACheese_Chocolate_Tasting/