The Great Cheese Quest 2010

I had this idea of trying all forty something Appellation Controlee French cheeses. I'd ferret out the ones I could from various sources in London, then pop over to Paris on the Eurostar and pick up the rest. Ideally I'd also cook with them. Oh, and meet Mr Right as our eyes met over the cheese counter ... Then a producer would snap up the rights and make a movie where Meryl Streep plays me. (I'd do anything to avoid archaeology / war zones right now.)

But first the cheeses ... It's not going so well. It's not that I can't find them, it's that I can't $÷¤%£ well write about food. I can cook, I can eat, but I can't describe food. And it's a problem. Oh, and I'm convinced that most of the goat's cheeses taste the same, and are only edible when smothered in jelly or chutney. So Ms Streep is going to have some issues with this, I suspect. The recipes bit was going very well until I found myself kitchen-less (now).

In short, I have no recipes, I can't describe the cheeses, and unless I somehow manage to incorporate them in my love life, nothing to blog about them.

Luckily, I can make a few links between cheese and military history, so I'm clinging to these for dear life ...

Did you know that Greek and early Roman cheeses were soft, and strained in baskets (as in the Odyssey)? The first hard cheeses were developed by drying these out when cheese became a ration of the Roman army - soft curdy cheeses are more difficult to transport than hard one.

And whilst camembert has been around for a while - how long is a matter of dispute - it only became a popular cheese in France following the First World War. Soldiers had been given it as part of their rations, and continued to eat it when back at their homes and hearths.

The cheese illustrated below was used on battle wounds as early as the Merovingien and Caroligien periods. The mould that gives it its flavour is similar to modern anti-biotics.

So. Cheese. Good to eat. Difficult to write about. Integral part of military history.

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