French Food Culture: Artisan Cheese and Juice Pairings for Kids

French Food Culture: Artisan Cheese and Juice Pairings for Kids
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Cultural Activities for Kids

We’ve been having so much fun with our Passport to Culture series! Conducting a travel-at-home parenting series has been in the works for a long time. It all started with our first post on Ireland culture last year and has since turned into various fun cultural activities for kids, including food culture. This post is the first of our culture party on France, and I’m excited to partner with Président, Europe’s leading cheese expert, to showcase some of the classics, and new favorites, in specialty cheeses.

Passport to Culture: France {part one}

The French know how to enjoy food. Their culture of culinary appreciation is widely recognized. And as the French know so well, the art of cheese is in its pairings. Most often paired with wine, I decided to teach my little girl about various artisan cheeses paired alongside her favorite drink – juice!

Social scientists regard food traditions as an integral part of a culture. In France, culinary tradition is highly intertwined with artisan cheese, of which there are close to 400 varieties. Classified by where the milk is derived (cow, goat or ewe), whether or not it is pasteurized or pressed, artisan cheeses are part of the French family’s daily routine.

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When I traveled to France with an old friend back in 2005, I always knew I’d go back. I loved so much of my experience in Paris… the history, the culture, but most of all, the cheese! Years later, as my daughter and I pursued through old photo albums from my French trip, she became enthralled with the many types of cheeses. I promised to one day take her to Paris, but I decided to also introduce her palate to the cheeses that Parisians love.

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Cheese and Juice Pairing Menu

For our first pairing, we followed the guidelines explained by President’s cheese expert, Waldemar Albrecht, and tried to match acidity levels. In addition, I wanted to follow a natural progression of flavors. I attempted to introduce the mildest cheeses first, attempting to conclude with the strongest, but my little one had other plans. This is what we did…

Pairing Nombre Un: Apple Juice and Camembert and Apple Croque

Pairing Nombre Deux: Prune Juice and Brie topped with Bacon and Agave

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In addition to being mindful of acidity levels, Président also taught me to appreciate the attraction of opposites. Contrasting flavors can, in fact, be quite complimentary. For our opposite pairings, we tried…

Pairing Nombre Trois: Grape Juice and baked Almond Crusted Manchego wedges

Pairing Nombre Quatre: Cranberry Juice and Brie and Pear Roll Ups

Pairing Nombre Cinq: White Grape Juice with Garlic Herb spreadable on Cucumber, drizzled with Balsamic

The key to a great juice and cheese pairing is balance. When you can taste both the cheese and juice, without one overpowering the other, you’ve made a great pair. All the recipes for our French Cheese and Juice Pairing cultural kids activity, as well as other inspiration, can be found at Art of Cheese.

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A Sophisticated Palate: Ways to Teach Kids about French Cheese Culture

While offering these cheese and juice pairings to my little one, I asked my daughter some questions about what she tasted. It was a great lesson on the various categories of flavors – sweet, sour, salty, and bitter – and helped her to tune in on what she was eating. We also talked about French culture and what life might be like for French children her age. We discussed the various ways cheese is eaten in France, and ways we can incorporate artisan cheeses into our classic American and Latino recipes.

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I was so impressed by my little girl. Her willingness to try new flavors and offer her opinions seemed far beyond her 4 years, and made me excited to one day visit Paris with her. After she was told that “French kids try everything at least once”, she has been eager to test new recipes… and that was what this experiment was all about: exposing her to global food and culture, from the comforts of her own home.

Here’s you chance to host your own Artisan Cheese and Juice Pairing party! Enter to win $50 worth of Président cheese by visiting the brand’s new website, ArtOfCheese.com, where you can download a coupon and enter the Pinterest sweepstakes.

To celebrate the launch of Art of Cheese, Président partnered with a select group of bloggers and asked us to share our own interpretations of “the art of cheese” by showing how we’d reinvent a classic cheese dish. You can see all of our posts on the Art of Cheese site or follow the conversation on social media by using #ArtOfCheese.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I love this post!!! I love Président too!! Enzo loves Camembert but not Brie, yes his palate is so refined that he already knows the difference at 2!
    Will definitely be sharing this post… and please tell Président to keep bringing their delicious products to local supermarkets here, I can’t tell you how happy I am that I can finally find their butter in at my local Key Food.

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