French Cheese Board presents cheese which makes women pretty, men strong
Saint Geric is d’Affinois with a dash of blue – a revelation!
Also, President is not inferior American cheese but French initiative aimed at world domination!An extraordinarily appetizing event at the tiny French Cheese Board storefront – La Maison du Fromage! – last night at 26 West 39 St (1.844.2CHEESE), aimed to seduce the press with the supreme quality of French cheeses which will be on sale there for the next two days.
The party brought two huge revelations to those who appreciate New York City for its range of foreign and domestic hand crafted cheeses available at emporia such as Zabars, and from the ruling king of cheese, six foot four Carlos at West Side Market at 110St, who for a decade seems to have cornered the market in the best cheese for the most reasonable price.President conquering the world
Contrary to what we have always thought as we surveyed the cheese bargains at Zabars, for instance, it turns out that President cheese is a world wide cheese based in France and set on conquering the world, and not a US made inferior copy of real French brie.
Even so, does the President label betoken anything of real quality? Yes! President has a line in Sea Salted Butter “made in a small Normandy village” that immediately convinces one that one is wasting one’s life unless one is eating French butter. Exquisite, dreamy, luscious, we took some home and had it with baget (from Trader Joe’s, of course, currently the best buy in town) and home cooked jellied hambone soup darkened with spices and carrots and celery!
Saint Geric rulesBut that was for breakfast the next day. For after sampling as much Fromager D’Affinois as we could manage with the unsuitably pointy knives provided to spread it on tiny pieces of toast, we came upon its superior – unheard of! – from the same cheesemaker, Saint Geric, (see www.fromageraffinois.com and cheesesofeurope.com).
This cheese, soft, creamy and flecked with blue, as far as we are concerned now reigns supreme as the most royally sumptuous cheese we have ever tasted which doesn’t have any feel of excess fat to it. In fact, we took some home (until Saturday evening the public can buy these cheeses at half price), ate an entire triangle for dinner, went to bed peacefully and woke up with that special feeling in the morning of having digested something very, very good for the body and soul.
A secret treasure in danger?D’Affinois cheeses are made by a Mr Guilloteau, who is now 80, said Marine Dorotte, who is the sales manager in the US at Interval Export in Hoboken, and dressed like all the other young French women present in the casual elegance that seems beyond New York City shops to stock. She said Guilloteau had started d’Affinois cheeses only thirty years ago, and had kept the exact process and ingredients secret.
Now he was 80, and had repulsed an attempt by large corporations who had bought into his company to take over. “He offered what they offered him for the whole company for their share, and bought them out!’ He has children, she said, but none want to take over.
We had a sudden fear that just as we had discovered it, what seemed at that moment to be the best cheese in the whole world might vanish. Is the priceless secret in danger? we asked her. “Probably there are other close to him in making it who know it!” she reassured us.
No road running neededThe French of course know how to put a wine with cheese and there were three Cote du Rhones – red, rose and white – served, all of which had both remarkable substance and freshness to set off the d’Affinois. “The winemaker seeks good structure”, said Timothee Chavanes, the ambassador for the brand, M. Chapoutier, (see www.chapoutier.com). He had arrived in the city a month ago from Orleans and appreciated its energy, he said.
We complimented him on his trim build, which like the other French men and women present he seemed to have achieved without subscribing to a gym. In fact, we got the impression that French health derives from French food, and there is no need for the additional strenuous measures beloved of natives of this continent.Certainly Marine Dorotte had a bloom about her and a quickness of movement which spoke reams about the magic of the French diet, we thought. For she told us that she always intended to take up running like the Americans but hadn’t got around to it. “I don’t count my calories in restaurants either,” she said. “But I do research them very carefully before choosing one. It’s the food which counts.”
And of course, one cannot forget that the French are known for eating only reasonable amounts, possibly for the simple reason that by comparison with the Americans they replace quantity with quality, and need less of it.