Cheese Workshop organized by the European Union & CNIEL

The best cheese in the world comes from Europe where artisans and big producers use their ancestral know-how to produce a wide variety of fine cheese. From French Camembert to Italian Burrata, the range of cheese is very diverse.

Today, the dairy industry in the European Union is the most productive and the most successful in the world. Its strict regulations by the European Union and the CNIEL (National Interprofessional Center of the Dairy Economy, France), a privately run organization whose main objective is to promote dairy products and to facilitate relationships between dairy producers and processors, makes cheese from Europe, the best and safest product for the consumer.

In order to promote French cheese, the European Union and CNIEL organized a cheese tasting workshop, this afternoon, with French Chef François Robin at Artisan, Sofitel Mumbai BKC. Awarded the Best Cheese Monger of France, Chef Robin demonstrated exclusive recipes based on the available vegetarian cheese (without any animal rennet) and added a unique Indian touch to create fusion food, using cheese as the main ingredient. ‘Make cheese, not war. Atleast that’s what we do in France,’ he jokingly said. For those of you who don’t know, France has over 2000 different types of cheese – so there’s something for everyone.

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Our workshop started with a tasting of four different types of cheese – Camembert, Chevre, Comté & Roquefort. Blindfolded with our nose blocked, the entire experience depended solely on our taste buds. We could touch and taste but could not see or smell – which makes a world of a difference when it comes to cheese. Camembert with its bloomy rind was my absolute favorite…especially when it was baked and runny. While Chevre was creamy, flavorful and a tad bit salty, Roquefort was intense and had probably been aged for several months. ‘In France, cheese is considered to be a meal for everyone – rich or poor, as it is more affordable than milk,’ said Chef Robin.

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Soon after our tasting, he demonstrated a few quick recipes that were delicious beyond words and super easy to make.

Goat’s cheese or Chevre:
Mix together with chopped coriander in a bowl and sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds.

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Comté:
Remove the rind. Cut into small pieces. Dip in balsamic vinegar reduction and coat with roasted sesame seeds.

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Camembert:
Bake until the cheese is soft and runny on the inside. Top with toasted nuts OR Mix together finely chopped apricots, pistachios and mascarpone cheese with a little bit of gin. Slice the wheel into two and pipe the mixture in between.

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