Saturday, August 07, 2010

Cheese for real men

I love French cheese. The seemingly infinite varieties may according to de Gaulle make the country ungovernable, but what do I care? Bring on the Roquefort, Epoisses, all the cheeses that run and spread, all the round goat cheeses wrapped in chestnut leaves, and the squared-off pyramids dusted with ash.

All the cheeses, in short, that I can't eat right now.

I'm a little bit frustrated, you see. My husband does his best to track down the best of the pasteurized variety, but let's face it, it just isn't as tasty. He rightfully still buys the unpasteurized stuff for himself and le Petit.

Le Petit, meanwhile, has picked up the important question that gets asked frequently at the dinner table: "Est-ce que c'est pasteurisé ?"

He doesn't know what it means and we explain that he doesn't have to worry, that it's just a question important for Mommy and the baby in her tummy.

"You can eat this," my husband explained jokingly, "because this is cheese for real men." He said it in French, of course: fromage pour les hommes.

As we laughed over le Petit's head, he assimilated this new information, as three-year-olds do. And he apparently noticed, too, that "les hommes" is pronounced with an added Z to meld "les" and "hommes" harmoniously together, without the silent H of the singular form.

The next day, we took out the cheese and asked him which one he wanted. He pointed out a block of unpasteurized Pyrenean sheep's milk cheese and said, "I want that one. Because je suis un Zhomme, moi!"


Cloud said...
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Cloud said...

Ah, I'm glad my days of explaining to people why I can't have the strawberries (same reason you can't have the cheese- they are at a relatively high risk of listeria contamination here) are over.

And I had one really funny (in retrospect) exchange with a puzzled waiter at a Mexican restaurant, when I was trying to determine if I could eat their queso fresco....

Jac said...

I, too, love cheese. And generally I have the opposite problem - it's almost impossible to find unpasteurized cheese here! Works okay for me right now while I'm pregnant though.

Petit sounds precious.

caramama said...

Adorable to add the z!

Just remember, it won't last forever... even if it feels like it. I definitely missed goat cheese SO much when I was pregnant. Luckily all the mozerella here was pasturized, even the fresh ones!