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Sunday, November 20, 2011

[French cheese] How to eat cheese more tasty - Montreal cheese shop

As you might imagine,
I met a new world at 18, when I stayed in Paris for two months,
experiencing a continuous cultural shock.
I adored the city.
I absorbed Paris like a sponge and dreamed in French.
My favorite city in the whole world is Annecy, a picturesque alpine city in Savoie, France. I don't think this will change ever.
However, the city that affected and changed my palate, aerchitectural taste, cultural and artistic intinct can only be Paris.
Paris, or rather France is a paradise of dairy products, especially of cheese.
I had eaten only cheddar cheese, including Singles, until then.
I can tell you. While I was staying in Paris for that summer, I tasted different cheeses everyday.
Oh, there is a famous quote of the former French president Charles De Gaulle, about cheese:
(Yes, It is the same Charles De Gaulles which the biggest French internatational airport
 is named after)
"Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?"
 ("How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?")
(from Les Mots du Général(The words of the General), Ernest Mignon (1962))

This quote could mean different things to different people.
In my case, the quote stamped on the fact that there are so many cheeses to taste! :)
We drive to Montreal every now and then to appreciate Monteal's culinary diversities and buy French cheese and wine.
We drove to Montreal again yesterday to have a weekend bagel breakfast at a famous Montreal bagel restaurant and buy some fish and cheese.
If you want to see my post about Montreal bagel,

I know that you would say that we were crazy.
We left at 6:30 a.m. in the morning on Saturday! to have a timely breakfast at
St. Viateur Restaurant.
But we really wanted to have a nice first meal of the day not too late.
Brunch is never my thing because I'm such a morning person and have to eat as soon as I wake up. I had  a bowl of all bran with milk before we left.
Pablo went back to sleep on the way to Montreal.
He sleeps with his eyes half-open. :(

There was a table on the heated terrasse, but we chose to be seated inside!

This was my "Smile" plate: toasted bagel topped with over-easy, and baked beans, and bacon.

And this was Mr.D's.

This was our receipt.

 We went to "La Mer", a fish market, to buy mussels, squid and snappers.

We don't leave Montreal before we visit Hamel, our favorite cheese shop in Montreal.
This is the photo from January 2011.

Mr. D is entering the shop.

 You have to get a numbered ticket and wait for your turn.

There is a blackboard with the cheese price information.

I just love Hamel and the wonderfully pungent smell in the shop.

There are lots of Quebec cheese, and also imported ones.
You can find most of cheeses, if not all, at Hamel.

Well, they didn't have Pierre Robert or Brie de Melun yesterday. But they do have the cheeses which have similar charecteristics of the ones I wanted to buy.

They don't only sell cheese, but also freshly dried herbs.

You can also buy a ready-made cheese fondue kit too.

I like hard cheese like Gruyère orTomme,

Also do I love soft cheese like Chaource(left) and Brie de Meaux(right)

Chaource is the cheese made in Champagne region in France, it matches very well with champagne.

I ate lots of cheese this morning~ without champagne.

When I eat chaource or other soft cheese without wine accompanying,
I drizzle honey over cheese~

Please don't try honey on hard cheese or on cheddar cheese.
Because it won't work!

But, next time you are to taste soft artisan cheese such a sbrie de Meaux, brie de Melun, Camembert, Chaource, or Langres, drip some honey on top.
I am 101% sure that you will re-recognize the beauty of cheese and become a total cheese gourmand!


Soft Cheese with honey


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