I’m just going to say it – some things sound infinitely better in the French language. Take, for example, the Cheese Moment. In French, it’s le Moment Fromage, which rolls beautifully off the tongue, and doesn’t sound ridiculous when an entire table says: “Et maintenant? Pour le Moment Fromage?“
What is this magical institution (for it is a magical institution)? This is the cheese course, taken after the appetizer and main course. On special occasions it may precede dessert, but in everyday life, it IS dessert. Don’t think cheese qualifies as dessert? That’s because you’re not in France. And let me assure you, we paltry non-French are missing out on a truly mystical moment.
Let me set the scene. The table is full of satisfied family members, having polished off two courses already. The last of the main dish has been consumed, and the table is cleared. One family member (usually a parent), retrieves every single morsel of cheese in the fridge, and the whole lot is deposited in the middle of the dinner table (unless it’s a more formal setting, in which a cheese board will have been assembled earlier).
A crusty baguette is torn into pieces, the rest of the wine is poured (wine and cheese are a match made by the Food Gods). Perhaps a pear is sliced into thin, paper-like pieces, to be eaten alongside a mild chevre. Everyone slices off hunks of their personal favorite, and though there is talk (and plenty of it), each person is having a mini-relationship with their cheese, letting stresses of the day melt away as one communes with the true pleasures of this life.
This is a French thing, but also a very Normandy thing. In this particular region of France, there are a lot of cows, and a therefore a lot of milk. It follows that cheese is highly prized; in fact, I’m almost positive the general population believes it’s another food group, equally as important as water and vegetables.
A meal is incomplete without cheese. It lacks luster, and life.
Not that I’m converted or anything.
(Photo Credit to Lavender and Lovage)