We are all about to embark on the holiday season: lots of entertaining, good food, pretty tables …..
And I thought you would like to see something of a French dinner, namely the cheese board, and the etiquette and customs around it.
A cheese selection is an essential part of any good meal here. A good hostess will put together a varied board, rich in flavours and specialities from all over France. Cheese is served after the main course and before dessert. On a plate or a wooden board, passed around the table, once but not twice. Sometimes a salad is served at the same time but not always, and in dinners with friends, the cheese course does not always come with a clean plate ….. sometimes the dinner plate is left in place, (unless it was a fish course), wiped a little with a piece of bread and then used for the salad and cheese.
In the same way, the cutlery or flatware for the cheese may or may not be changed. If you keep the same plate, then the same knife and fork is used for the cheese and salad. If there is no salad, but just cheese with bread, then guests are generally provided with a cheese plate and a clean knife.
And then comes the question of serving yourself with cheese… which to choose, how many pieces and how to cut each cheese, all these are potential hurdles for the uninitiated, and that is why we have made this little video. In case you one day find yourself at a French table, or in case you wish to serve a typical French cheese board at your own table.
I had some amazing help in making this video. First of all from our local cheese monger, La Cremerie Normande, and then from Amaury de Tilly, owner of one of our best local B&B Les Hautes Sources. Amaury is from a wonderful French family where traditions are respected, they are important, and eating well is part of everyday family life. I couldn’t find a better expert or more charming host.
I hope you like this little video, and that you are enjoying this pre-holiday season. Come back soon for some more holiday entertaining inspiration.