Nothing better than a cool family dinner. Or you spend the evening in the kitchen (and you can’t enjoy being with them) or you go for an easy concept. That’ what we did. A big choice of cheese and meats (“charcuterie”), a fresh salad and French bread (“baguette”). The image that immediately comes to mind when you think about this particular kind of bread has to be of a Frenchman leaving a boulangerie with a baguette tucked under his arm, wrapped only in a tiny scrap of paper. It’s the only kind of bread in the world made in this long shape.
On top on left side: Maroilles. The monks in Maroilles Abbey invented this ‘square’ cheese with a reddish-orange washed, smooth, shiny rind, and strong, spicy flavour. It’s made using cow’s milk from the southern department of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and the northern part of Aisne (Picardie).
On top in the middle: Emmental. A cheese with a smooth, yellow rind, almost regular wholes and a colour that varies from deep to light yellow. Also used grated for a delicious gratin, in fondue or cubes as an ingredient in a tasty salad.
Bottom on left side: Camembert. Produced using cow’s milk from Normandy cows. One of the best-known, best-loved French cheeses. It has a white rind, ivory interior and buttery flavour. Sold in traditional wood boxes to let it breathe and preserve its sensory properties.
If you want to read more about French cheeses, have a look into this excellent Food France book (Marianna Mordenti).