Attending the above workshop at the Indigo Restaurant in Colaba in Mumbai was a absolutely unique experience.
After we were seated, Francois Robin, a top cheese maker and cheese monger from France, instructed us to shut out two senses: sight and smell, with a blindfold and a nosepin and to honestly relay our tasting insights without censor or diplomacy.
We then proceeded to taste 4 cheeses: one was sort of firm with a solid flavour, rind, and normally salty.
Then it was a softer one with a creamy flavour and texture.
After that was the softest and creamiest cheese of the lot; it pretty much melted in our fingers and mouth. It was also the highest on the saltiness. A pungent cheese with an ash-like flavour rounded up the tasting. It was nice that each cheese built upon the previous one.
So the cheeses on our platter were: Comte, Brie, Goat Cheese and Blue Cheese, all influenced by their different places of genesis in France.
Then we had a sampling of Comte with crispy roti & pomegranate molasses, which was an interesting burst of sweet, sour and salty along with crispy in our mouths.
The Brie was combined with chhunda on a baguette and the flavours worked well
The goat cheese was mixed with black sesame, natural honey (Pahadi Local) and coriander and piped onto a plain, spongy dosa. All the flavours and textures played well together. The star of the combinations was the cheesiest burger ever! It was two round pieces of camembert cheese stuffed with a mix of mascarpone cheese, pistachio, pomegranate seeds, and gin. This was also the least unconventional pairing. We loved it!!
Francois conducted the class with plenty of humour and shared his insights on gourmet cheese & how cheese-making is a life and a passion and how cheese is alive and constantly evolving. Mansi Jasani of The Cheese Collective shared her experiences as well. It was an eye-opening experience and a delight to our palette. We have a new found love and fascination for gourmet cheese and respect for the process and people involved.