Holiday!

It is summer and traditionally both in France and everywhere else you go on holiday in summer. It seems that in the United Kingdom you go away for summer as in you go away to find summer because there really doesn’t seem to be much of a summer here. No, there is not much of a summer here. There is just rain and wind and boring stuff but we have to keep going and find away to enjoy life I suppose. So! I’ve gone on holiday and I am writing to you all from Australia! That’s right, I’ve gone to Australia for the summer but, as the science buffs among you out there may no it is not summer in Australia right now it is winter! Yes! I’ve come half way around the world all the way to Australia and I’ve done so at the absolute worst time of the year you could ever hope to visit such a place. Which is great.

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I’m here visiting a friend who works for the oven cleaning company I talked about last week. Turns out I wrote that thing and an old friend googled it because he works for them now in Australia and recognized me! He got in touch and I headed over! He’s been working running his own franchise cleaning ovens for a fair time now. I know him from way back when when we worked in the same kitchen in Paris. Never thought he’d go from putting things in ovens to cleaning them!

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At work.

But he has! He said he’s fine with cleaning ovens. He drives around to different towns and little settlements out where he lives, he has a relationship with his customers and he gets to organize his own working like. NONE of this is true of working in a kitchen. I was convinced he’d be hating it but he is really not. I’m actually a little jealous now.

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Well maybe, but I’m looking forward to getting back to work. It’s the only work for me!

Cooking with French Cheese

Bonjour mon amis! Je m’appelle Jean Claude Francois and I am here to tell you all about cooking with the Fromage that is francais. No, not fromage frais as you know them…

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Zey are a blasphemous, disgusting, filthy, poisonous, disgraceful, horrible, apocalyptic, genocidal, murderous, defamatory, painful, evil, evil, EVIL DEATH!! I would never have them ever anywhere near my table or my family or my face. In fact, if you came running at my family with a smelly rabies infected dead cat dog I would give you a friendlier welcome than I would if you came running toward my family with a ‘family’ 18 pack of Petits Filous. If you did that, I would shoot you with a big brick from a catapult. That’s right. That is what I would do. Because I love my kids.

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 The perfect little French girl.

So I cook with good, real, French cheese. I put it in all their food. I put in their pizza, their pasta, and all the other French food I cook for them. I put it in pies. I put it in bread. I put it in salads. I put it in sandwiches. I put it on chips. I put it on everything. I put it on burgers. I put it sausages. I put it on ice cream. I put it in cereal. And I always, always, put it in the oven. And quite often, it melts all over the place. My oven is now a bit of a disaster zone. And I don’t know what to do! Because whilst I love cooking. I hate, HATE, cleaning.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to clean a cheese splattered oven, but it ain’t easy. In fact, it is very, very difficult. And it ruins your relationship to cheese as you start seeing it not as your beautiful delicious cheesy friend, but as your horrible gloppy disgusting difficult sticky stodgy dodgy friend. And that just ain’t cool. So I say if some other fool wants to clean your oven, let them do it! Let them get their fingers around those lumps of cheese. It would be foolish not to.

So basically, what I’m trying to say, is that I haven’t got any cheese recipes for you this week, because my oven is so filthy that I’m going to wait till the Ovenu folk have been round before I start testing anything out.

Au revoir!

Intro to our Guide to French Cheese

To the French heart and mind cheese is as central to identity as existentialism, wine and looking down on all other nations as essentially culturally inferior. I can completely understand the raising of cheese to the level of national identifier and art form, I think we would all the same if our country produced the same incredible array of stunning cheese. The wealth of cheesy goodness in France is absolutely incredible and the production process really lends itself to the fetishising of this particularly gluttonous indulgence. The making of cheese, especially a lot of French cheese, is a long and arduous process that requires much love and attention from beginning to end. It involves caring for a whole other being, the cow, and loving it and coaxing it into producing the milk as you require it. All cheeses start with milk. It always blows my mind that so many different cheeses with different textures, tastes, smells and colours all come from this one weird white liquid. But they do, and they always have, and they always will. Forever. Long live cheese.

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General Charles de Gaulle once asked: “How can you govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese?” His point was not, as you may imagine, that it is impossible to govern, or indeed to do anything, when there is so much nice and tempting cheese out there to be eaten. He was using the diversity of cheese to illustrate the diversity of France, and how for a long time this ‘country’ was actually a large selection of disparate little settlements and communities spread across this quite incredibly physically and geographically diverse land. All these communities have their own cheese, and this means their own identity socially, politically and most importantly, culinarily.

 

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So cheese is, in France, kind of a big deal. Here at Delice Maitre Rodolphe we think cheese is kind of a big deal too. So if you agree, stick around.

 

Cheers to Cheese.

 

Thanks.