Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fourme d'Ambert

zucchini; toasted bread; olive oil; Fourme d'Ambert


EVERYONE KNOWS THERE ARE THREE great blue cheeses, and that they are: Stilton, from England; Roquefort, from France; Gorgonzola, from Italy. But my own favorite has always been bleu d'Auvergne.

A couple of weeks we drove back from Portland, and Giovanna, who came with us, brought, without my quite realizing it, a pound or two of cheese that had been given her by a friend who conveniently imports foods from France and Italy and other such places. In fact we'd tasted this very cheese at Giovanna's while we were visiting, and I'd commented on it: how good it was, how incredibly good and, for all I knew, nonpareil. So, dutiful — or, better, fond daughter that she is, she brought a pound or two with her, and tonight it provided the evening protein.

It's not simply a generic bleu d'Auvergne, of course, though those are quite good enough: it's a Fourme d'Ambert, a blue cheese with a very long pedigree indeed, and one uniquely suited to the wine I ultimately provided it.


Lindsey steamed some sliced zucchini from the market and toasted a couple of slices of wheat-grain bread from the bakery, and we drizzled olive oil on some of the toast, and cut generous slices of cheese on the rest. Nothing to it: and delicious.

Wines: I forgot to mention that last night's wine, at the new restaurant, was an interesting Nero d'Avola from Sicily with a curious name: Nerojbleo, 2004 — nice to have a wine with a little age on it. And tonight, after a short glass of the usual cheap Pinot grigio,
René Barbier Catalunya 2004 (!) white wine, 11.5% alcohol, vanilla and lemon, floral without a any phony chemistry: If I ever remember where I bought it, I'll get a case or two for the summer. Delicious.

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