Cheese Tasting Workshop with Francois Robin by The Cheese Collective

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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.
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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.
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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!!
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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.
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