French cheeses for a Frenchman: I have completed my mission to bring back 6 French supermarket cheeses for my friend's French husband. I was tempted to sneak in a Belgian Herve but resisted as it wasn't in the remit. I do hope he will be happy...
So we have the requested Cancoillotte oozing in its pot, plus the local Maroilles and Boulette d'Avesnes, both in a cloud of stench. I was given a hint that Comte would go down well and managed to search around the aisles and find not the usual 5-month old, nor 7, nor 9 (although I did buy one of those in reserve that I can surely use myself) but 15-month-old, which I am hoping might have the nutty, slightly marmitey flavour and granular texture I'd expect. Then goats' cheese: this isn't really my thing but I did a bit of reading up and ended up with a Selles-sur-Cher, which is caked in ash and looks suitably dark, wrinkled and shrivelled to have a good bit of personality, I hope. And finally I just had to pick a Camembert (about a quarter of the cheese section in each supermarket is given over to them, you can't ignore them) and this one, made from raw milk, had won a prize recently which I hope bodes well. And before you ask the obvious, no he doesn't like blue cheese. The blue went to my friend Jenny who rolled home earlier, after doing a very good job of quality control on some of our newly-bought wine, with a lovely-looking wheel of Fourme d'Ambert, and a much more dainty embodiment of goats' milk in a set of 3 cute little Cabecous. I think in total we brought home 16 cheeses and there was a satisfying stink reminiscent of bad nappy bags when I opened the cool box after a day on the road. Good job done.
We went to an aquarium while we were on holiday and very good it was too. I saw some tiny little white starfish that were very very similar to the snowflakes I saw recently: spot the difference (again apologies for the photography):-
The photo is so bad that it really doesn't do them justice, but they really did look just the same, honest.