Jason Sobocinski hosts the Big Cheese on the Cooking Channel. The chef and cheese expert owns Caseus Fromagerie Bistro, an award-winning restaurant and cheese shop in New Haven, Connecticut. Find out more and check out some of his recipes at www.SeeWhereCheeseCanTakeyou.com
1. Every country has unique cheeses - what makes cheeses crafted in France special?
Come on! It's France, the country known the world over as the cheeses capitol of the world! France also seems to always be the country that has such wonderful agrarian traditions and a constant romantic attitude about all things food that it fits as the greatest lover of the greatest gastronomic discovery….cheese. Cheeses crafted in France, with such rich history, fascinate me. The story behind each cheese; that is one of the best parts about enjoying a cheese. France's cheeses all have such bountiful stories; fodder for the brain and the tongue, which for me, enhance their flavors like no other food.
2. What do you like the most about Ile de France Cheeses?
IDF Camembert and Chevre for me embody consistency with character. Cheese is inherently inconsistent due to the myriad of variables in the cheese making process. But great cheese makers make consistently great tasting cheese with character and flavor that can and does vary with season in flavor and texture. IDF has figured out to hit the mark with consistency while still allowing traditional flavors and textures to shine through.
3. What's a unique way to enjoy Brie?
Naked in the tub.
With dark chocolate & fresh summer strawberries and a Pinotage wine (something big rich and earthy)
4. On a nice spring day, what beverage will really hit the spot when it's paired with an Ile de France Cheese, and why?
Chevre – Dry Provencal Rose
Bright flavors of Spring beg for bright and light Rose wines to bring out the light acidity
Camembert – Hoppy India Pale Ale
The rich mushroom, butter and earth flavors of a ripe Camembert are wonderful when cut with an astringent and floral IPA
Brie – Lambic Beer
The creamy and fatty Brie works perfect when cut with a sour Flemish Red or Lambic beer to cleanse the palette and get your mouth ready for another bite!
5. You're obviously passionate about cheese - what's one thing you find particularly alluring?
One thing I find alluring? I find too many things alluring to list just one!
I am passionate about cheese and the most alluring thing about it for me are the stories that accompany each wonderful bite! I know that with knowledge of a product, especially cheese with its rich and passionate history, the result is a better tasting food every time. That is alluring! The power of a story to invigorate and enlighten our taste buds!