Stinky Cheese Festival

by Anne Maxfield on March 8, 2010

Accidental Locavore Raclette

Ok, so this week’s blog is not about local (well a local restaurant), or fresh, but hey, it’s March.

A long time ago, when I lived in Paris, there used to be an old restaurant in the back of Les Halles, that served nothing but raclette. For those of you who have never had raclette, it’s fondue’s much better cousin. Half wheels of raclette cheese are melted over a heating element, or a fire, until it’s melted and bubbly. They then scrape the melted cheese on your plate, and you scoop it up with steamed potatoes, ham, cornichons, and little pickled onions. Heaven.

So when I heard that Marseilles, a favorite restaurant, was kicking off the Stinky Cheese Festival last Monday, with a menu that started with raclette, I was quickly making reservations. Walking in, all you could smell was the cheese melting, it took me right back to Paris. The raclette was followed by a wonderful four course dinner, all made with “stinky” cheeses. My favorite after the raclette, was a puff pastry tourte filled with leeks and potatoes, in a sauce made from epoisse (a very stinky, runny cheese), what’ not to like, right? That was followed by a risotto with tallegio, and a chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto and fontina. Desert, if you could move at that point, was a pear poached in port wine, and stuffed with gorgonzola. Oh, and there was wine with every course. Thanks to my friend Geri who runs Ventureneer who was willing to give up our usual Indian haunt for a night of cheese.

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