Days 19-32: Cheese and transition (again)
I failed in my goal to eat 40 cheeses in 40 days.
I could have succeeded. It wasn't because finding or buying cheese was difficult. Although I will confess that, having been utterly spoiled by some really amazing cheeses, I am not a big fan of buying mediocre ones. But sometimes I didn't have a choice.
No, the problem was that I got another job. Under some unexpected circumstances, I found my way back into my industry again at a small company where, for the first time in a while, I'm really enjoying my work. I made it to 32 days before I had to stop due to travel. I'm only finally getting to posting the last fourteen.
Thanks to those of you who followed. Maybe I'll do it again sometime. But for now, I'm looking forward to my next cheese event: judging the Coups de Coeur for the Salon du Fromage!
Day 19: Abbaye de Citeaux
In my experience, this lovely, creamy cheese from the Burgundy region is one of the tamer washed rind varieties. A personal favorite.
Day 20: Mont Vully
Alpine-style cheese from Switzerland. Good, not great. There are a bunch of mountain cheeses like this one. When you have eaten magnificent Étivaz, the rest sort of pale in comparison.
Day 21: St Nectaire
I *LOVE* Saint Nectaire. But I'm terribly spoiled. I have eaten some of the best Saint Nectaire produced in France. This, from a small shop specializing in products from the Auvergne around the corner from my apartment, wasn't anywhere near as good, but I felt I had to try it.
Day 22: Feta
Nothing special, but I have a weakness for Greek-style salads with cucumbers and fresh tomatoes and some salty sheep's cheese.
Day 23: Bethmale de chèvre
This lacy cheese is usually made of cow's milk. This was a delicious product with a distinct flavor of goat's milk, yet mild and creamy.
Day 24: Cantal
Cantal is one of the cheeses that regularly appears on cheeseplates across France. This one was nice. It was on the young side so it still had a pretty lactic flavor.
Day 25: Saint Marcellin
The big surprise of this bunch. I bought this from the Monoprix, one of the big chains in France. I know that Cantin distributes into Monoprix, but this was a private-label product. It was delicious and at the perfect stage of development for my tastes. Who knew?!
Day 26: Tomme de berger
Mild pressed uncooked sheep's cheese are a family weakness. This cheese came from one of my new go-to places, La Fermette, on the rue Montorgueil, a pedestrian street in the heart of Paris (2e arrondissement).
Day 27: Pouligny-Saint-Pierre
Having eaten so many bad goat cheeses in my life, I am particularly appreciative of good ones. This Pouligny (also from La Fermette) was spectacular. So creamy and warm in the mouth, a bit of sourness from the goat's milk, a light smell of grass.
Day 28: Emmenthal
OK, I freely admit that this is cheating. I had been busy all day and was unable to get out to get anything good. Thank you, Dr Oetker frozen pizzas, for keeping the streak alive.
Day 29: Camembert
Another staple for cheese plates everywhere, Camembert is massively consumed and highly variable in quality. This was a very good cheese that I ate at my friend Sylvain's new brasserie in the 19th (which you should go to if you're in Paris).
Day 30: Brie de Meaux
Again, I've eaten better versions. This was good though.
Day 31: Jibneh Mshalleh (Syrian String Cheese)
I was attracted to this cheese when visiting a relatively new store down the road that sells products from all over the Middle East. We ate Armenian string cheese occasionally in my youth. This was the Syrian version, which is deliberately saltier. I liked this a lot, although the saltiness meant that I could only eat it in small portions.
Day 32: Industrial cheddar cheese
The last act of a desperate man. Nachos in a bar while watching a Manchester United game. At least they came with jalapeños!