De Gaulle said,
“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”
Well the situation is much worse than that. The real number is more like 400 kinds.In fact the French have the highest world consumption of cheese; about 25.9 kilos (57 pounds) a year. That’s over a pound a week.
The best are made by hand or artisanal as opposed to manufactured. Not surprising really. Some of the manufactured cheeses appear more like rubber than cheese.
Aging cheese is an art, often done in very old cellars. There is a problem of course in storing these cheeses at home because modern apartments are not equipped for it and either the heating or the fridge destroys them. An old fashioned walk in larder open to fresh air does not exist in modern buildings.
Does one eat the rind? When it is a soft cheese of course.
How does one cut a cheese? An art not taught to foreigners.
The French appear to mostly eat cheese at the end of a meal with bread and not dry biscuits. Personally I never have enough appetite for bread then so do not conform.
I have also never found the equivalent of good cheddar to make a welsh rabbit with. Trying to explain that in French though is complicated.
Oh well there are elections today to decide who will lead the Forlorn Hope, or the French Socialist party into battle against the rest in the upcoming Presidential elections.