When the Olympic games cycle back around it’s natural to start thinking about what’s special about us all, separating us according to talent. Some people are incredible athletes, or musicians, or professionally good-looking. It can take time for these unique gifts to emerge, or if you’re like me it’s obvious from the get-go. I usually do try to be modest, but for the purposes of this post you should know that I’m really, REALLY good at eating cheese.
I wish I could take all the credit personally, but I acknowledge that this talent is partly due to genetics, securely rooted in my French heritage, passed down throughout the generations. My parents are both champion cheese-eaters, finding ways to incorporate it into every meal and capable of polishing off an entire wedge in one sitting with only a swish of wine to assist them. The other part though, is entirely based on practice. My first “solid” bite of food was a soft, creamy goat cheese, and I’ve been training intensely ever since.
Most of us with an aptitude for consuming cheese generally require a proper environment to tackle our subject; an arena if you will. I like to give myself some room, spreading various types across platters, arranging it with accompanying fruits and chutneys, giving appropriate billing to brimming baskets of fresh breads and crackers.
However, recently while in France I rediscovered that often the best way to eat cheese is also the simplest. In this case, a sandwich. That’s right. A sandwich made exclusively of cheese!
For those looking for a new sport, grab a fresh, crusty baguette and slather on your preferred fromage. You may want to add a thin slice of ham, a scant spreading of jam, or perhaps a few bits of fruit, but the sole purpose of anything extra is to complement the flavor of your cheese.
My favorite combinations include cambozola and thinly sliced firm peaches, as shown here. In the fall use pears instead. (If you happen to have time to sit down, round it out with a side of fresh greens, but don’t let that hold you back, especially when on-the-go in Paris.) The sky is really the limit here. Brie with fig chutney, salty cheddar with strawberry jam, or a creamy blue with a smear of honey. Just believe in yourself…and remember the cheese.