Celebrate Bastille Day


Bastille Day celebrations may be best known for parades and fireworks, but France’s equivalent to the Fourth of July is also the perfect occasion to savor some of France’s most delicious specialties: Brie and Goat cheese.

“Bastille Day is, originally, a French national holiday, but an increasing number of Americans are joining in on the blue, white and red festivities, particularly those that highlight French food,” says cookbook author Kathy Gunst, who has spent the last year developing simple and quick recipes featuring Ile de France Brie and Goat cheese. “Whether it’s hosting a simple, yet elegant backyard gathering with friends featuring French delicacies or attending the now-famous pétanque tournament in New York’s Greenwich Village, Americans are jumping on the Bastille Day bandwagon.”

Gunst’s “Bastille Day” recipes, Brie and Charcuterie Platter and Lemon-Ginger Goat and Cream Cheesecake, can be easily found on Ile de France’s newly redesigned Website, www.iledefrancecheese.com.

“In bistros and backyards throughout France, gorgeous platters of charcuterie – seasoned, smoked or aged meats and sausages – are served with an assortment of country and peasant breads, pickles and, of course, gourmet cheeses,” observes Gunst. “For this particular version, I like to introduce Ile de France’s authentic, rich Brie -- as well as pickled onions, French olives and fresh fruits such as apples and pears -- to the culinary mix.” For a casual gathering of friends and family on France’s Independence Day, a Brie and charcuterie platter is the perfect way to whet appetites and to celebrate the unique flavors of France, notes Gunst.
And for Gunst, the only way to end a memorable Bastille Day meal is with an equally memorable dessert; she suggests a creamy cheesecake featuring a mixture of traditional cream cheese with Ile de France tangy Goat cheese.

“Goat cheese, mixed with cream cheese, makes a surprisingly light, creamy cake,” notes Gunst. “This particular cheesecake is incredibly flavorful on its own, but to add a French twist, I simply surround the white cheesecake with fresh blueberries and strawberries for a festive, ‘tricolore’-themed dessert.”

The authentic and popular brand of gourmet Brie and Goat cheeses, Ile de France is available in supermarket specialty cheese centers and gourmet food shops nationwide. All of Kathy Gunst’s recipes, as well as her Brie and Goat cheese tips, can be found on the Ile de France Website.