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LIFE S T YLE – CHE E SE & WINE

L A SOU PE AU CANTAL by La Cave à Fromage What makes France so unique is that it is a land of ancestral

course; or cheese soup – the only soup which should be eaten

gastronomy. I have always found it fascinating to observe a

with a fork! Nutritionists beware – this isn’t one for the faint

region, a nation, a country through

hearted, but it’s easy to make.

its gastronomy and traditions – they

First, you melt some duck fat in

often accurately reflect its people,

a pan and cook onions and garlic,

their history and way of life.

before adding shredded cabbage.

Going back in time, right to

Cover it with white wine and stock

the centre of France in southern

and allow it to cook for half an hour.

Auvergne – close to the Massif

Next, in an oven, lay slices of stale

Central – far away from any main

sourdough bread, Cantal cheese,

town and any political power, life

and pour over the cabbage, onion

used to be celebrated with very

and stock. Lay another layer of

local products. The morning after

bread and cheese, and more liquid,

a wedding, the newly-wed couple

and then top it again with generous

would be presented with a dish cooked the day before, slowly, over a stove or a fire called a cantou, which was the centre of the home. What was this traditional dish? The soupe au fromage, of E: eric@cheese.biz T: +44 (0)845 108 8222 W: www.la-cave.co.uk

slices of Cantal cheese. Then cook it in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 180° C. You’ll know when it’s ready: it’s when your fork can stand upright in the dish. Vive les mariés! I by Eric Charriaux

TO BUY YOUR CHEESE, VISIT LA CAVE A FROMAGE SHOPS 24-25 Cromwell Place, 229a Chiswick High Street, Kensington, London SW7 2LD Chiswick, London W4 2DW

34-35 Western Road, Hove, Brighton BN3 1AF

TH E I D E AL WI N E TO PAI R WITH A 'SOU PE AU CANTAL' by Wine Story Drinking wine isn’t an obvious thing to do with a soup. In pairing a wine to a dish, we like to contrast and shock, so the texture of the soup makes it hard to find a liquid that complements another liquid. However, in rural France, it is common to rinse your soup plate with a red wine – we call this ‘faire chabrot’ in French, or ‘faire godaille’ in the Charentais dialect. The right wine will depend on the soup, of course. A spicy, coconut Thai soup would require an aromatic white wine, while a tomato soup would call for a pink rosé wine from Provence. And of course, for a fish soup, you could easily drink a Muscadet or a white Vin de Pays Charentais. However, for Eric’s cheese soup, the ideal wine would be an old, traditional and rustic wine – just like the Cantal used to make the soup. As such, a good suggestion would be two natural red wines from the Touraine region in the Loire Valley. First, there is the Cuvée Arbre Mort from La Marinière, the rising star of the Chinon appellation, made from Cabernet Franc grapes. Otherwise, perhaps the more rustic blend of Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Cot (Malbec) in AOC Touraine-Amboise would work well. The cuvée from La Grange Tiphaine vineyard would be perfect for this too – as is its name: Ad Libitum. I by Thibault Lavergne TO ORDER MICHELIN-STYLE WINES TO DRINK AT HOME, CONTACT: E: thibault@winestory.co.uk T: +44 (0)7921 770 691 W: www.winestory.co.uk

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- january / february 2017 - 57

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