Wednesday, July 9, 2008

If you send it, I will eat it (and post about it), probably

Or, how I am happily pimping The CFT for 1 kilo of cheese (brie, specifically) while being all about disclosure and transparency. It started like this:

Hello,

While looking for blogs on food, wine and cheese I came across your website and found it very interesting. I’m contacting you on behalf of Ile de France, a French cheese importing company . . . .


First I was flattered, then intrigued, then thought it was a scam, and then intrigued again. So I followed up on the comment and, as promised, UPS showed up with my cheese. The box (nice and reusable):
The cheese:
And the catch:

. . . just remember that you need to mention the source and place a link to our website.

To get that out of the way, it's from Ile De France, and here's their website.

The first thing I did after getting the package was eat the majority of one of the wedges on crackers. Very good, especially once it warmed up to room temp.

I got to work on the rest of the wedge at dinner time. The pork is from Country Gristmill, local Amish farmers. It's good pork. I took a boneless chop (normally I go with bone in, but that's what I saw first at the Market), cut a slit in it, and jam packed it with a slivers of the brie and some basil leaves. After patting the stuffed pork dry with a paper towel, I seasoned it with salt and pepper and seared it in a little canola oil. The chop then went in a 450 oven until it was cooked med. rare/med. No need to brine the pork here, as masking the porkyness would be a shame. The rendered fat on the chop and the velvety melted cheese melded great, especially with the basil adding some freshness.

The potatoes are some local red potatoes, cooked and mashed with the skin and some fresh garlic (the garlic was boiled with the potatoes). As I was mashing them I added the remainder of the brie wedge, some cream, summer savory, butter, and salt and pepper. It worked very will with . . .

The broccoli, which was simply steamed with a little butter and salt and pepper on top. Combined with the potatoes it was like a a nice take on broccoli with cheese sauce. Even though I harvested the broccoli a day or two too late, it still beats the grocery store.

And the broken sauce was just some port cooked down in the pork pan with some butter added at the end. It may not be pretty, but it contributed. And with no stock on hand it was the best I could come up with.

So that's it. I must admit that I was ready to rip on the cheese. Honestly, I wanted to rip on the cheese, and had even thought about some choice words before receiving it. It's from a big producer that overflows the internet with videos and annoying product placements and chef endorsements. But it was very good. Not the most gooey, transcendent cheese I've ever had, and the packaging smacks of mass production, but still, very good. The bottom line for me is that if I'm at a grocery store and need a snack, I'd consider getting a wedge of this along with a baguette (Soon I hope to do a blind taste test with this and other grocery store double creams, along with one "artisan" variety, to see how things stack up--I'll post the results if I do it.). I'd even unabashedly put a wedge of the Ile De France on an after dinner cheese plate . . . at least until we start producing some brie style cheese around here.

And here's a gratuitous meat shot:

3 comments:

David said...

Just gave you a bit of a shout out on FriendFeed and Twitter ... I hope you make some good food under pressure.

The CFT said...

Not sure what that means, but thanks. As for pressure, try consuming 2.2 pounds of cheese--intense.

Next time you're in town you'll have to post the scallop chip.

maybelles parents said...

oh, it sounds like you got to experience a moment of cheese heaven.