What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘luxurious’? It probably isn’t cheese, but perhaps it should be.
A little back story…
Last week, I attended a business function put on at the San Francisco Crate & Barrel store. The purpose of the function was for a local firm to present data about trends in home remodeling to both homeowners and to the trade. Being a kitchen and bath designer by day, I received an invite. And wanting to hear what they had to say, I hopped on the rapid transit system and made the trek into the city.
They say if you garner one pearl of wisdom from any business event then it has been worth your time so I can definitely say this event was worth it. The presentation was filled with good information and the networking opportunity was nice, but the highlight of the evening for me was tasting this wonderful cheese from France called ‘Explorateur’ that was among the offerings on the cheese and charcuterie table.
I was not alone either. You can tell from the photo that folks were digging right in! One lady who kept coming back for more and more said she was contemplating buying a container from the Crate & Barrel line-up so she could carry off the leftovers at the end of the event…if there were any!
I didn’t go back to the spread to see if she actually did this or not. Instead, I headed home and went straight to my bookshelf to see if Explorateur was listed in “Cheese: A Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Best”. I bought this book by cheese connoisseur Max McCalman shortly after it came out in 2005 and have been tracking my cheese education in it ever since. I’ve placed little star stickers and my personal notes next to each cheese that I have had the pleasure (or, occasionally, the displeasure) of trying over the years. A quick check showed that, yes, Explorateur was in the book and, no, I hadn’t tried it until now.
Max’s description of the Triple Crèmes, of which Explorateur was shown as a prime example, said “This is a category of French cheeses that are – in a word – luxurious, mostly because they are made by adding more cream to the already-rich milk.” No wonder we all liked it; it contains 75% milk fat in every luxurious bite! Too much of this luxurious cheese and I won’t fit into that luxurious evening dress that hangs in my closet for those one or two luxurious events we attend every year! On second thought, maybe it’s time for a new dress. 😉