A Review of the Terrific Bloggers Vive le Cheese Evening at La Fromagerie
Fifteen food bloggers attended an evening at La Fromagerie in London where they enjoyed three different workshops.
Visit to the Affineur Room led by John Peglar, Affineur
John Peglar or ‘JP’ invited bloggers into the specially designed cheese room at La Fromagerie. It is a unique humidity and temperature controlled room with a maturing wall which reproduces the effects of traditional cheese maturating caves.
He explained how as Affineurs, they look after the cheeses from the point of receiving them from small producers through the process of maturing, to displaying the cheeses and then bringing them to perfect à point condition for sale. This ensures that each cheese is offered at its best. Many of La Fromagerie cheeses are unique.
The bloggers workshop was an opportunity to explain the intricacy of what being an Affineur entails; foremost – passion, an attention to detail and dedication. Bloggers took the opportunity to ask questions about affinage from ‘cheese turning’, to the different methods of ‘washing’ and the varying degrees of ripeness.
French Cheese Tasting led by Jean-Baptiste Manin, Affineur
The second workshop focused on a tasting of 10 cow’s milk cheeses. They ranged from a perfectly ripped St-Marcelin (Isere) to an unusual Vache Port d’Aspe, a very small production cheese from the Pyrenees. However a firm favourite for many was an incredible 24 month-old Comte. It showed off why the cheese maker and affineur play such an important role in creating a high quality, flavoursome cheese.
Guests had the opportunity to taste each cheese and, through their senses of smell and taste, identify signature aromas and flavours such as floral, earthy mushrooms, herbs and even farm yard as well as assess their quality.
It was an interesting and often humorous opportunity for everyone to share opinions and enjoy their passion for cheese.
Recipe and Wine Matching, led by Katrina Alloway, food and wine writer.
French cheeses and French wines go hand-in-hand, or do they? With so many French cheese and so many French wines a statement like that falls flat on its face. But there are some perfect matches and finding out what works and what doesn’t is a lot of fun!
Bloggers were served five Vive le Cheese recipes (for recipes look on the pages at the right) and five different wines. They ranged from a crisp Pouilly-Fumé AOC, De Ladoucette 2007, to a smooth Chablis AOC, William Fèvre 2008, a spicy and fruity Crozes-Hermitage AOC, E. Guigal 2006, a fulsome Madiran AOC, Plénitude, Producteurs Plaimont 2006 and an unctuously sweet Sauternes-Barsac AOC, Chateau Coutet 2004.
There were some divine pairings (Sauternes with Roquefort soufflé) and some not so nice (not mentioning any names) but what is more surprising was how little agreement there was amongst the bloggers as to what worked and what didn’t. Let’s just say there was some robust debate and leave it at that. All good fun though.
To see other bloggers’ thoughts on the evening visit: