There have been lots of positive reviews of our cheese trolley and it is a focus for us. The French language can be wonderful and it sounds even better when we say Chariot de fromage!
It might be useful to readers to sum up the selection that we have on the trolley at the time of writing. The selection changes as we come across new favourites and with the seasons as the quality of most cheeses varies according to the time of year.
I travel over 160 km every week visiting and buying directly from cheese suppliers who are far too small to sell in any shop. One of them just supplies our restaurant and his own family. The producers in many cases are so small and uncommercial that often the cheeses that they make have no trade name other than ‘cow’ or Brebis (sheep), etc. Marketing is not their strong point and we search out producers who make something special.
Here you will get the chance to try cheeses that are unique in many cases and of very high quality. You will see from the above that it is quite obvious that for me the cheese course is the highlight of the meal.
At present we have on the cheese trolley –
‘7 cow’ (from a tiny producer just 2 km away, organic, unpasteurised and she only has 7 cows hence our nickname for this wonderful un-named cheese.)
Roquefort (strong blue). From the Papillon cave which is generally regarded as the best available.
Ariege Noir (cows milk medium strength) fairly local to here.
Brie de Meaux. Unpasteurised and organic. With a wonderful depth of flavour.
Fresh goats cheese 8 days old and as delicate as a rose petal. Local 3 km away, unpasteurised and organic.
Tomme de Savoie (cow).
A local un-named cheese which is 40% cow and 60% goat. A tiny producer, unpasteurised and organic. Full flavoured. Only sells to us.
Bleu d’ Auvernge (very mild blue).
Another un-named cheese from a tiny producer at Mirepoix, cow with garlic and herbs. Not strong but a wonderful depth of flavour. Only sells to us.
Tomme Catalane, local and a creamy but firm cows milk cheese.
Stilton (strong blue) from Colsten Bassett in England.
An unpasteurised Camembert from Normandy infused with Calvados (apple brandy). It is a bit of a monster but a tiny slice after the other cheeses is superb.
A goats cheese from the nearby medieval town of Mirepoix which unusually is a blue cheese, again from a tiny producer and the cheese has no name. Lovely flavour, unpasteurised.
Saint Nectaire, a creamy full flavoured cheese well known in France. Unpasteurised.
A local Brebis, sheeps milk, and light and delicate, unpasteurised.
Gouda from Holland with mustard and peppers. (very strong indeed but absolutely delicious).
Morbier. Made since pre-Medieval days and with a layer of ash running through the middle. The bottom half of the cheese is made with the morning milk and the top with the evening milking. The ash is there to keep the devil away so you will be safe if you eat here!
Comte aged for 12 months. A hard cheese which has a very pleasant, slightly nutty flavour.
Shropshire Blue from England.
A local un-named goats cheese with 2 months age. Powerful and a cheese for clients who like strong goats cheese. Not for shrinking violets. Unpasteurised.
And a couple of others that I have forgotten! Note that in winter we have a much smaller selection in order to ensure the cheeses are in perfect condition.
We serve from a special cheese trolley imported from Italy and we make sure that all cheeses are in perfect condition. We have a special fridge for storage. We are dedicated to ensuring that the cheese is always served when at its best. Each piece of cheese is stored and treated like a new born child and it takes 45 minutes after service every evening to wrap individually, catalogue, label and store properly.
Many of our cheeses are unpasteurised. If you have ever eaten a piece ‘President’ pasteurised Camembert from the supermarket and thought (quite rightly) that it tasted like cardboard you will see the difference. It may be the biggest producer with a huge advertising budget but it is truly terrible stuff. Try an unpasteurised version from a good producer and you will see a huge difference. Our brie is unpasteurised and the depth of flavour is sublime. I had a piece of brie recently from a huge producer. It was plastic in consistency and had absolutely no flavour whatsoever.
When I was younger and living at home in my family cheese was eaten every evening and we always had a glass of Port to finish. I was not, I fear, the greatest of sons but my father, Edmund, who has been gone for many years and whom I miss greatly, would I think be happy to know that we continue the tradition by serving a complimentary glass of ten year old Tawny port with the cheese. French readers will think that we are mad as Port is normally drunk in France as an aperitif rather than with cheese but I promise that it is a magic combination guaranteed to extend life and ensure a jolly finish to all meals.
Paul (the happy Chef).