Saturday, September 3, 2011
Two new ways of serving goats cheese
Our fortnight in France has produced a couple of new ideas for serving cheese - as it usually does.
The first was an elegant course in a restaurant that should by rights have had a Michelin star, La Renaissance in Argentan which is also considerably more interesting than it looks from the website. Small balls of goats cheese were mixed with apricot and chopped lavender and set in the centre of fine, crisp savoury biscuits. There were also shards of apricot alongside and some kind of apricotty syrup, hard to determine, admittedly, in the rather fuzzy low-light picture above.
You almost certainly wouldn't want to go to that trouble but you could easily prepare the cheese that way and serve it with homemade breadsticks or biscuits. We'd finished our wine by that point but it would have been perfect with a sweet wine like a Jurançon or a Pacherenc-de-Vic-Bilh.
The other was at a wine bar in Bédarieux called Chai Christine Cannac where they served goats cheeses of different ages with honey, fleur-de-sel (coarse, unprocessed sea salt) and olive oil. The rather dishevelled appearance of the slate is due to the fact that it was ordered not by us but the next door table. When I was asking Ms Cannac about it she said she was sure her friends wouldn't mind if I took a snap of it. So I did.
Serving cheese with salt is of course not the healthiest option but I can imagine it would add an appealing crunch. A bit like that gorgeous French butter with salt crystals.