‘Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are’
In a world of constant change it is comforting to know that some things have been done the same way for hundreds of years… Cheese making is one such thing… I feel very lucky to live in a country which produces a great variety of wonderful cheeses and to have had the opportunity to have witnessed on many occasions how cheese is actually made. Quite an interesting process. There’s something very archaic about watching an old man with monk-like concentration and a slow rhythmic movement combing through curds with a cheese harp… then filling these into little forms to make the formagini… placing them on a wooden rack to drip solid.
Besides this simple formagini which will always remind me of Ticino, j’adore goat’s cheese in every single shape or form but I also have a weakness for Brillat Savarin. This is not only a sumptuous cheese but can also boast an interesting history, inspiring roots, so to speak. It is named after Jean Anthèlme Brillat Savarin, a French writer and philosopher who also wrote a book entitled; ‘La Physiologie du Gôut’ (‘The Physiology of Taste’) in 1826, two months before his death, in which he discourses on the pleasures of the table. In true epicurean manner! What I really like about his writing, as well as of course his love for food, is the parading of his knowledge of foreign languages… he will enter a word like sip in English if it suits him. Joyce, incidentally does this wonderfully too. The simplest meal satisfied Brillat Savarin as long as it was executed with artistry.
Brillat Savarin is claimed to be the father of the low-carbohydrate diet. He considered white flour and sugar to be the cause of obesity and he suggested instead protein-rich ingredients.
I will close with another quote from the great man and later this afternoon, see if I can drum up some pears and open a worthy ‘Gâteau Savarin’ with a little glass of something in his honour…
‘A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye’
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