Tuesday, December 20, 2011


My family arrived today and I was oh so happy to see them! Last night I went and bought my Christmas tree from across the street because I felt that dragging one on the metro just because it was 15€ cheaper really wasn't worth the hassel or the funny looks. I then spend the evening folding paper stars and airplanes and what not to out of magazines to decorate it since I refused to spend money on ornaments that I would then have to spend even more money hauling back to the states.

This morning I awoke early (well for me) and went to Tati (as close as Paris gets to Target) to look for Christmas lights (or lumieure de Noel). They only had multicolored bells and blue stars, so I went next door to Monoprix to see what they had. They only had light up strands of snowflakes. So I then came back home and went to the Super Marche near my house which had no lights at all! What was I going to do? Luckily I passed an odd little shop that had Christmas lights and took the last six boxes of normal warm candlelight lights. Who knew it would be such a task?

My tree is quite adorable, I think, even if it is a tad too big for my kitchen. It just looked so much smaller when it was outside begging for a home. But I knew as I was cramming it into my elevator that it was going to be a problem. I had to rearrange the whole damn kitchen to fit it in, but I think it works just fine. Christmas trees should be a bit overwhelmingly festive and center stage! It is Christmas, after all!

Of course my family getting to my apartment via my directions was a huge problem. I may have forgotten to tell them that from Les Halles you take line 4 to get to line 3, and so they ended up wandering around and around and around looking for the line 3 connection that didn't exist. Luckily an extremely nice french woman let them use her phone to call me and tell me of my epic fail, and then took them where they needed to go. I'm hoping they see the humor in it in a few days.

In preparation for their arrival I went out and bought some baguettes and cheese since there's nothing in my fridge and since I didn't exactly want to stock up on groceries when I expected that we'd be eating out most of the time. And of course, this worked out perfectly for my Cheese Tuesday!

As usually I just picked whatever struck my fancy and went with something with an interesting name but one that I actually pronounced correctly. Chaource said, "showerce". I got a nice heft demi wheel of it and it's absolutely beautiful! It's spectacularly creamy and crumbles just a wee bit when cut into. It spread's wonderfully and I found mine oozing just ever so slightly around the edges.

The taste was much stronger than I was anticipated, and I loved it! With smooth undertones similar to a camembert, it has had a robust sour and bitterness to it that reminded me of a blue cheese without that blue cheese flavor (if that makes any sense). I think it would be particularly lovely with sliced fresh figs or a sour cherry preserve. Something bright but strong to accompany and compete with the formidable flavors of the cheese.

Though this is definitely not a cheese for beginners, it was not nearly as fermented as some other cheeses I have tasted and loved. But this chaource was certainly not lacking in complexity but did not have the strong, pungent, dead foot smell that highly fermented cheeses can have. So if you're looking for something that can hold its own but won't result in your neighbors calling the cops to investigate that putrid smell wafting from your kitchen, this would be a wonderful cheese to go with!

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