Sunday, 21 July 2013

Ooh la la, le Fromage Puant!

I've been watching Le Tour this week and feeling all nostalgic for all things French... I lived in Alsace for a year for the obligatory immersion-phase of my French degree, and it has been a favourite holiday destination for my family too. I know - almost makes us middle class!

Sadly, I've not been able to go back for leisure for years, but a little taster came to Northampton yesterday with the travelling French Market.
Blackadder was right: 'Sausage' is not in the first English dictionary written by Dr Samuel Johnson... but saucisson is. Not sure about cassoulet...

Crowds loving the Gallic ambience.
Beautiful tablets of savon de Marseille

Tempting cheeses!
I needed some cheese, so I decided to get it here, as quite frankly it was a bargain. I chose 3 good-size cheeses for a fiver: some creamy blue cheese, some Pont L'Eveque and a cheeky little Munster.

Ah... and thereby hangs a tale!

Munster is one of the smelliest cheeses in the world, but it is very nice. When I lived in France as an assistant in two schools, I and my fellow assistants in the town got invited to a cheese and wine evening where we got to try beaujolais nouveau and some lovely cheeses, including Munster. In fact Hugh loved it so much, one day he went out to buy some.

Now, in our flat, my room was next to the kitchen on the east side of the building, and Hugh and Reinhard had rooms on the west side. Hugh had been a bit concerned that his purchase of Munster cheese would offend us, Reinhard having already had a go at me for grating some emmental into a bowl he liked to use, because, you know, emmental - a very mild cheese - was to him incredibly stinky and washing up the bowl seemingly would fail to redeem it to its unstinky natural state. He was, to be frank, a bit nuts.

So Hugh decided not to put his Munster in the fridge.

The first I realised was when I woke up before the alarm on what was going to be a very warm day, the sun already piercing through the shutter blinds. So was something else.

A most bizarre, sweaty-feet-like gaseous odour. I swear there was a yellow mist in the room.

What Hugh had done, to be considerate to his fellow flatmates was to put the cheese in a bag and hang it out of the kitchen window - next to my bedroom window - where the sun's rays had worked their magic on the warm and ripe cheese.

Comme dit les francais - pew.


  1. I love a great market and that look fantastic! x

    1. It's not bad! They seem to have something on every week in that market square.