Warning: the following video may cause severe cheese cravings, viewer discretion is advised.
In this little video blog, we continue our France series by visiting the beautiful little town of Saint-Émilion, and taking a look inside a charming little cheese shop.
This was actually a very spontaneous, no frills, on-the-spot shoot as you’ll see, but I thought this would tie in nicely with themes that we’ve touched on in some previous videos, namely the French “Joie de Vivre” philosophy which was on glorious display here, and “The French Paradox”, both of which you can find links to at the end of the video. It also allowed me a chance to sample and buy some of my favorite cheeses, so, with an old friend from the U.S., and my friend and production colleague from Tokyo with me, fresh off our flights into France, jet lagged and probably a little sleep deprived, we stopped on our way from Bordeaux airport to have a little walk and enjoy a cup of coffee/glass of wine in this lovely village (also a UNESCO world heritage site).
While we had no fancy gear or microphones on us to capture the moment properly, we did our best and didn’t want to miss out on this opportunity to chat with the owner of the little cheese shop and delicatessen, the charming Monsieur Christophe, and learn some fascinating things about cheese that literally had our mouths watering (we left with a lot!) and our interests piqued the moment we started to learn about the different varieties and even the science behind cheesemaking.
For example learning about the differences between cheese made with pasteurized milk vs. unpasteurized was very interesting and hearing it not from scientists, but from a passionate individual with experience was indeed very interesting from a cultural standpoint and a health and wellness perspective. It was also great to hear some very interesting trivia as it relates to the French paradox, and seeing this man’s passion for what he does and experiencing the old fashioned love of simple things really stopped me in my tracks and it was something that we all agreed, whether it would go on the channel or not, was worth capturing.
As Christophe mentioned to our astonishment, there are more than 2500 cheeses made in the world and 1250 of them (50% of all the world’s cheeses) are made in France, as such the passion for cheese and their knowledge is simply unparalleled, and on display here were some of the finest I’ve ever seen.
Christophe’s departing words were quite poetic and I couldn’t have agreed more with him… “Life is not sufficient for all the cheeses and all the wines, one must be like a cat with nine lives”. Too true.
Thanks for watching and I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into French cheese culture and the depths behind the little things that were so evident here and that we often take for granted.
Merci and bon appétit!
*Special thanks to Monsieur Christophe for allowing us to film and chat with him, he was very generous and gracious with his time. If you’re ever in this region be sure to visit this town and be sure to say bonjour to Christophe and take a look around his wonderful little establishment at the southern entrance of the town. Also thanks to my mother for her assistance in refining the translations from French to English 🙂