French cheese is loved throughout the world for its high quality and taste. It seems the stinkier the better, and the farms around here in La Clusaz are testament to just how stinky cheese caves can be. When my friends and family ask me to bring cheese to them, Roquefort blue cheese is up there with the most requested varieties. On top of that, no French cheese platter would be complete without a wedge of Roquefort.
You can imagine my surprise when, last week, I spotted these British blue cheeses in a French supermarket. Sacré cœur! There’s been an influx of cheddar varieties, but I never expected to see a blue cheese other than Roquefort on French supermarket shelves. It turns out that the Claxstone Smooth Blue is a pretty popular cheese too, winning the Supreme Champion award at last year’s Nantwich international cheese awards.
But will the French buy it?
My first thoughts were that they wouldn’t, because it would be like Brits buying a Cheddar-like cheese made in France. Surely this is like selling fridges to Eskimos! Then I remembered just how hungry the French are for cheese. If anyone can judge the quality of a cheese, it’s your average French person. While I’m still struggling to figure out which way I’m meant to cut that first piece of cheese on the platter and whether it’s one that should have the crust removed, my French friends have usually sampled all the cheeses and are onto round two. If it’s not already clear, I’m as sophisticated as a Mini Babybel when it comes to cheese. What do I know?
Do you think the French will embrace it?