J'adore le fromage
By Alex Lowry, producer
I have never regretted moving to New York. Not even a tiny little bit. I love everything about this great city – the food, the people, the chaos, the weird calm. I had no regrets. No longing for Europe, until I went back to France for the first time in five years on a 3 week shoot.
It’s not France so much that I miss because let’s face it, it does have its drawbacks… and I’m not just saying that because I grew up in England. For a start everything is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Plus they get a month off in August, which frankly just isn’t fair. And to add insult to injury the French are well aware of how beautiful and steeped in culture their country is and they aren’t afraid to let you know that France iz ze best.
What I miss? What I truly long for? The cheese. Unpasteurized, bountiful, beautiful, diverse, amazing. Of course there is plenty of great cheese in the US. Humboldt Fog, Flagship Reserve cheddar, Rogue River Blue, still warm mozzarella from Arthur Avenue to name but a few… but in my opinion, nothing comes close to French cheese. Maybe it really is the lack of pasteurization. I don’t know. There is something about it that is just incredible.
I had selflessly volunteered to produce the France double shoot – Provence in June (2009)… the horror – telling the EP’s “I speak French … I suppose I should do that one” but I definitely had an ulterior motive. I knew that every day, sometimes twice a day, there was inevitably going to be a cheese course at the end of every scene. And on more than one occasion (MANY more) I found myself far too eager to help clear the table in the hopes of being alone with the gooey, nutty remnants of whatever had just been consumed. To take my finger and smear it through the remains of a St . Felicien or a perfectly ripe Reblochon. Heaven.
This unhealthy passion for le fromage will certainly not help me to lose that lingering 10-lbs I have gained since moving to the good ol’ USA, but I don’t even care. Saint Marcellin, Epoisses, Tomme de Savoie, Banon wrapped in chestnut leaves; I cannot wait until we are re-united again.
And in the meantime, if anyone knows any illicit ways of obtaining said unpasteurized cheeses (the REAL ones… not the ones that have been aged at least 60 days in keeping with FDA regulations), let’s talk.