In the realm of Soft Cheeses, what can I say apart that I do like most of them. Coming from Normandy which is an area of France reputed for its Cheeses, so dare I say that I did eat a lot of Cheeses when I grew up. Of course the Camembert and the Heart of Camembert could be found in the Cheese drawer of the Family fridge... And of course we could always find a Brie.
A tradition is to serve a Cheese at room temperature. So taking it out of the fridge at least one hour before the Cheese is eaten is considered as best practice to get the full flavour/aroma of the Cheese in question. But it does also allow the texture of the Soft Cheese to mellow which is what we want from a Soft Cheese. Beside that Soft Cheeses are excellent to cook with, or even to use as a mini Cheese Fondue.
Baked Camembert with toasted Sourdough Bread slices and Thyme.
Going back a little to my Childhood, it was frequent when we went on a road journey, or a school trip to depart with our lunch prepared and neatly wrapped up in cling film or foil. That lunch break consisted of a substancial Sandwish which included Ham, Brie Cheese slices, Tomato slices and Lettuce Leaves within a buttered Baguette. Being a little nostalgic but with insight, that Sandwich was providing Calcium, Protein, two Veg and the Carb with the Bread. So it was a pretty good thing for a travelling Child.
Ham, Tomato, Lettuce and Cheese within a Bread is always a good combination for a Sandwich. Here it done with Ciabatta Bread, Prosciutto Ham, Plum Tomatoes, Romaine Lettuce and Brie slices.
Another tradition for the French is to finish their Dinner with a piece of Cheese. This habit is not only French but is getting lost slowly. On the plate it was the time to have some Fruits, Jam or Chutney, Nuts and on the side the last Drink of the night, Red Wine, Port or White Wine. For the accompanying Fruits, Grapes, Pears and Figs are the usual choice. As for the Jams and Chutneys, it tend to be Redcurrant or Blackcurrant Jam, and as for the Chutneys it is more varied but Red Onion Chutney tends to be one of the most favoured with Cheese.
Brie upon Wholewheat Bread, covered with Redcurrant Jam, pieces of Walnuts and decorated with Mint. Of course it is to be enjoyed with a good glass of Red Wine.
There is a saying that to have a good Cheese Board especially during the Festive Season, you do need a Soft Cheese, a Hard Cheese, a Blue Cheese, a Cheese of another kind like a Goat Cheese or an Emmental Cheese, and one like a Fresh Cream Cheese which you can spread upon Bread, Crostini or/and Cheese Crackers. But the Soft Cheese option can be expended to two or even three because it is loved. One can not fault a Sommerset Brie, a Pied d'Anglois, a Livarot, a Pont L'evéque or a good Camembert. The choice is ever so wide.
Delivery from the Fine Cheese Company which arrived just on time for Christmas'Eve.
Confession for confession I do like my Brie however I do like Soft Cheese in general. One of them is called the Reblochon, it does come from the Alps (French, Switzerland, Italian). It melt beautifully and has a wonderful nutty taste. That Cheese can be used to do a Tartiflette (Also called a White Pizza, which means it has a Creamy base Sauce instead of a Tomato Sauce one). A Lardons, Shallots and Mushrooms Tartiflette is a delicious dish to share during the cold months of the year and the Reblochon helps to elevate it by its flavour. Another use for the Reblochon is again to be melted in the convivial Meal which is the Raclette.
The basic concept of a Raclette is to melt the Cheese in a little pan dish under a made for the purpose grill. The beauty of the device is that you can grill above but also under the heating probes. The fun of it is that you can propose an array of Ingredients to melt the Cheese with or to pour the melted Cheese upon. As I said a Raclette is a friendly affair just like Cheese Fondue. It is highly enjoyable. And Reblochon is a very suited Cheese for it.
The fact is that travelling or knowing from other people rather than just your family opens you to the world and a world of discovery where a narrow mind doesn't exist any longer because you opened the door to humanity. Back in the days I had an Italian/Sicilian boyfriend who introduced me to many specific Italian Food (like Bottarga). I must say that I didn't know how to do proper Carbonara Pasta until he came along and taught me the right way to do them, along with how to do a very nice Lasagne. So one Soft Cheese I would recommand is the Soft Cheese called Taleggio. I just can't get enough of it.