Posted in Cheese, France, Travelogues, tagged Cheese, Claude Querry, Comté, Fromageries Marcel Petite, Ihsan Gurdal, Jura, Philippe Goux, Valerie Gurdal on June 5, 2014 |
2 Comments »
Last fall, I had the opportunity to travel to the Jura with Ihsan and Valerie, owners of the Formaggio Kitchen shops, and visit Fromageries Marcel Petite, affineur (or ager) of Comté cheese.
All cheesemongers on our counters hear a tremendous amount about Fort Saint Antoine where Marcel Petite ages their finest wheels – it is a storied and highly respected place for us – where Philippe Goux, General Manager, and Claude Querry, Chef de Cave, bring wheels of this extraordinary mountain cheese to its full potential. Here are a few photos from my first visit – a very special experience for me as a cheesemonger and cheese lover. (please click on one of the photos to open the slideshow)
Entrance to the Fort – Few moments have impressed me as much as when I saw the entrance to the Fort. Unidentifiable from the other side of the peak, the structure, and the history of this facility is amazing – having heard so much about it, to be there myself was an extraordinary feeling.
Looking Up – The caves at the Fort are vast and beautiful. This cave is one of many and by far the largest.
Mark the Spot – A variety of symbols and initials are found on the Comté rinds. Each time a sample is taken from a wheel, a memo is left in its place. Though these symbols serve a purpose, they are also artful both in appearance, and in the movements the men take to scratch them into the rinds.
Claude’s Art – It is difficult to recall a time when I have seen someone so intensely focused on the specific moment he or she is in. Claude, the Chef de Cave at the Fort is so intense and passionate about his job, it is astounding. Here, he smells his core sample before tasting it, and then passing it around for us to try and discuss.
Mutual Respect – Seeing Ihsan and Valerie interact with their lifelong friends and colleagues made me truly appreciate the grand nature of what we do here at Formaggio Kitchen. The men and women we interacted with throughout the course of our trip absolutely adored Ihsan and Valerie. The mutual respect found in these relationships, particularly in the Jura, is wonderfully endearing, humbling, and also empowering.
Inside the Fort – A more cavernous aging room. Each room has a different humidity level and temperature to maximize the flavor of each cheese.
Remnants of Soldiers – I am unsure how anyone ever found these writing, as the hallway was pitch black, but these are the scribblings of soldiers who lived here well before the cheeses did.
The Business of Wine – Business does not happen unless there is wine! Here, we discuss our order over exquisite wines Philippe, General Manager of Marcel Petite, and Ihsan’s dear friend, has chosen for us.
Fleurie – Philippe and his wife, Christine, welcomed us, as they have so many mongers before us, into their home for a beautiful meal and wonderful conversation about Comté, France, wine and their dog Fleurie!
Meredith Rottersmann is the General Manager and Classroom Coordinator at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Cheese, Italy, Travelogues, tagged Bra, Caggiano, Cantine Ascheri, Caseficio Caggiano, Cheese, Comté, enkir, food, Giorgio Cravero, Italy, Jason Hinds, Marcel Petite, Maria Caggiano, Matteo Ascheri, Mulino Marino, Neal's Yard Dairy, Parmigiano Reggiano, Philippe Goux, Randolph Hodgson, Romano Levi on October 21, 2011 |
Leave a Comment »
Every two years, the biggest festival in the cheese world happens in Bra, Italy. The event is known simply as “Cheese.” Cheesemakers, cheesemongers, journalists, food lovers and folks lucky enough to live close by, descend on the small town of Bra to sample, sell and eat literally tons of cheese. This year at the biennial festival it was no different. With one exception. The thermometer hit a whopping 90°F. (more…)
Read Full Post »