Friday, May 16, 2008

Say yes to cheese...

Gorgonzola Dolce, image from

I. love. cheese. I really do, as anyone who knows me can attest. A few months ago I was having dinner with my sister in New York at the fabulous Otto pizzeria, one of Mario Batali's restaurants. The restaurant is just delightful, if a little crowded. Our server was knowledgeable and charming and they have one of the best wine lists in NYC, but the FOOD. Mon dieu, the food was absolutely incroyable! We did order the Olive Oil Gelato, which will change your life, trust me, but the highlight, for me, was the cheese plate.

My darling sister was in charge, and ordered the following:

Parmigiano Reggiano - Cow, EMI
Ricotta - Cow, CT
Fontina - Cow, VAL
Coach Triple Cream - Goat, NY
Gorgonzola Dolce - Cow, LOM

Oh, my. Oh, my my my. All of these were good, of course, but the Gorgonzola Dolce was absolute heaven. The sharp creaminess of that cheese stuck with me, and months later the thought makes my mouth water. It had a tangy flavor that got in your nose and a subtle sweetness that made me want to gobble up the entire piece without sharing AT ALL (of course I did not, but it was tempting). C'est magnifique, indeed. A very close second was the Coach Triple Cream. A creamy/crumbly mild cheese, sweet but not too sweet, rich and even buttery... Ours was served with black truffle honey, apricot confit and brandied cherries but this cheese would be great I think with a little spice to offset it. In any case, this is the cheese my sister says she will buy "even when she is poor." That's EXACTLY how I feel about it ($13 per wheel from but SO very worth it) and about the Gorgonzola Dolce.

Coach Farm Triple Cream, image from

The Gorgonza Dolce is one of my all time favorites and is, of course, a typically Italian cheese, but I'm not discriminatory. From salty Feta to Parmigiano Reggiano, rich Havarti to smoky Gouda, Camembert to good old Sharp Aged Cheddar... I have (almost) never had a cheese I didn't like. Which might be why I love my Sweet Baboo so much. He totally gets it... we say YES to cheese. Good grief, I love that man.

I sometimes think that my great love for Paris (and France as a whole) is largely due to the sheer abundance of CHEESE (and the hot, crusty baguette to put it on). Hollywood claims that the French have 452 official government cheeses, but many sources put the number somewhere closer 1,000. In any case, to quote Meg Ryan in French Kiss, "I'm saying, I LIKE the cheese."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Like a herd of turtles...

Ernest Hemingway wrote a collection of little stories, sketches really, about his life in Paris when he was "learning to be a writer". This literary gem is entitled A Moveable Feast and in it he describes the sometimes difficult task of writing, of disciplining oneself concerning putting words on a page, whether anything good comes or not. The book was published by his widow after his death, and it is one of my absolutely most favorite pieces of writing EVER. It is sweet and simple, but with a sense of mystery and almost a little melancholy in places. To me it feels like a good chat with an old friend every time I pick it up. In the spirit of following the dear man himself, I have decided that I need a little discipline in my life. Plus, my mother and sister are going to lose their minds if I don't "just write something already!"

So here it is, mes chéris: in the spirit of Hemingway and of familial sanity, my little blog. It will probably be nonsense more often than not... I am not promising you a rose garden. I mostly imagine that my life does not contain enough lovely things to be interesting to the outside world, but every time I have that thought I then turn and find that I am blessed beyond all belief, and then I begin to wonder whether someone else might think those blessings were charming, funny, poignant or bittersweet, if only I would set them down. Peut-être. Nous verrons...

And so, we begin. At the beginning, of course...

Photo by J.Highland... "Paris at Twilight"