Before We Move... The Story of How We Came to Live at Mas des Brun
The Accidental Shoplifter & Happy Medium in French

French Etiquette: Did you know about this rule for cheese? I sure didn't!

golden-retriever-Smokey-autumn-leaves-France
"New Day". Smokey reminds us all to live simply, slowly, and not to make a cheese about things! Speaking of fromage, tell us your favorite kind here in the comments.

TODAY'S WORD: en faire tout un fromage

        : to make a fuss about something
      : to make a mountain out of a molehill
      : to make a big deal out of something



ECOUTEZ - Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's French expression, download En faire tout un fromage


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse


For Friday's lunch with guests Eugenia and David, there would be two things less to worry about: the plat principal and the cheese plate. (We still had gigot de sanglier--and the rock-star selection of fromages my sister-in-law, Cécile, had brought when she and Jean-Marc's mom came for Sunday roast).  While these conveniences would not guarantee Fool Proof Entertaining (this time the powder room broke down and I burned dessert), the ready-made plats certainly chipped away at my To-Do list!

Speaking of To-Dos, I soon realized, during Friday's meal, one thing I'd left off that list: Continue to Keep Abreast of French Etiquette! 

Doubts began when I noticed my guests' hesitation before the delicious cheese platter including le comté, la tomme, la gorgonzola, les fromages de brebis... missing was la brousse (finished off that very morning for breakfast--over toast, with apricot jam! What a pity, we could have served this--la brousse avec confiture--for dessert instead of tarte brulée!)

Cheese Etiquette?

When the much-anticipated plateau de fromage remained untouched the second time around, Eugenia finally admitted: "Once, while eating at a French restaurant, I skipped dessert--opting instead for an additional serving of cheese--when someone pointed out it was impolite to have seconds from the cheese platter." Our guest finished her story with an innocent question. "Is this true? Is it bad manners to have another helping from the cheese platter?"

Everything went silent at the table but for the sound of my husband stabbing at another piece of comté--his fave.

Whatever the rules, we could see by one Frenchman's actions that there was no need to en faire tout un fromage when it came to cheese etiquette. Just dig in and enjoy!

I leave you with a photo of my burnt tart. Turns out our guests and my husband enjoyed it--washing it down with the help of a 1992 Chateau de Pibarnon.. and also a vin rouge Jean-Marc created, once upon a time, called Lunatique--which is still made at Domaine Rouge-Bleu! Does one need to be bananas to drink wine with dessert?

*    *    *

Banana-tart-tarte-banane

P.S. Were you aware of the cheese etiquette rule? And what is YOUR favorite cheese?


Wild-boar-lasagna-lasagne-sanglier
Last night I used the rest of the gigot in this wild boar lasagne!
Heidi-Marika-Jules-Reagan-Cheese-Importers-Colorado
Wistiti! = "Say cheese!" My sister, Heidi (left), Mom, and niece, Reagan (to the right) met up with longtime reader Marika--at the Cheese Importers in Longmont, Colorado! The ladies in this photo inspire me, and I am so grateful to have them--and you--in my life. Thank you very much for reading this French word journal. I leave you with an all caps comment I just received, from another reader, Gus:

KRISTI, I THINK THAT I WAS 87 WHEN I FIRST FOUND FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY. ON JANUARY SECOND I WILL BE NINETY TWO. THERE WAS SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO DURING THOSE YEARS. YOUR STORIES AND PICTURES WERE ENJOYED EVERY WEEK. THE TIME THAT PAULETTE AND I MET WITH YOU AT THE OLD VINEYARD WAS A HIGH POINT OF MY LIFE. I HAVE FELT THE SADNESS THAT YOU EXPRESSED IN YOUR MANY POSTINGS THESE PAST MONTHS. LIKE WAITING FOR A VERY BELOVED FRIEND PASS AWAY. AS I HAVE TOLD GRANDDAUGHTERS WHEN THINGS GOT ROUGH, "SHOULDERS BACK,CHEST OUT,HEAD HIGH AND SMILE". YOU TWO POSSESS THE QUALITIES THAT THIS WORLD NEEDS. GOD WILL LEND THAT HAND THAT YOU NEED AT THIS TIME.
DSC00450
Thank you, Gus!! Comments like yours are greatly appreciated and keep me on track in the meaningful pursuit of expression.

French cheese platter cheese knife roquefort

DEVENIR MECENE - BECOME A SUPPORTING MEMBER
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal. If you find value in this website and would like to keep it going strong, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! A contribution by check or via PayPal (links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!

♥ $10    
♥ $25    
♥ Or click here to send the amount of your choice

To purchase our memoir, THE LOST GARDENS click here.

Comments