Formaggio / fromage

December 9 2006

Ever since my October weekend in Rome, I have been on a cheese adventure.  I've always enjoyed the 100% European custom of a cheese course, and I'm not talking Kraft cheddar sticks.  Through my many travels to Europe, I've had the good fortune to try many many different kinds of cheese.  But now I can't seem to stop.

It started with this unexpected find in a street biomarket in Rome, where the cheese vendor spoke no English, but offered up samples of the most wonderful pecorino cheeses.

Formaggio

Upon return to Chicago, I found that any encounter with the word "pecorino" caused instant salivation.  One odd occasion was in a market in the "Little Italy" section of Chicago, where a query about pecorino was met with "you mean pecorino for eating?"  And sure enough, that is what it was marked.  What other kind is there?  (My only guess: hard cheese for grating, instead of eating whole)

When I was in Paris last month, I had the fortune to have a wonderful lunch with one of our top customers.  Apparently, I surprised my colleagues by choosing the fromage over the glace or other desserts, but there was no question in my mind.  And when the waiter brought over the cheese cart, and let me choose four fantastic pieces, wow.

Parisian fromage

Thankfully, there are a number of great places around Chicago to buy European cheeses.  It may not be best for the arteries, but these are the "live to eat" moments that make world travel such an adventure.

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