Coming Home — Cheese, Chips and WCs

I felt a bit guilty when I lied to the very kind customs man who welcomed us back into the United States.

“You’re not bringing in any food?” he said.

“No,” I replied.

My local fromagerie in Paris

My local fromagerie in Paris

In fact, my bag was 50% clothes, 50% food. I had several very alive raw milk cheeses, a few packages of salted Italian bottarga mullet roe, a large box of vialone nano risotto rice, five or six cans and jars of foie gras, four boxes of dried pasta and miscellaneous containers of salts. It is probably only the first two that would’ve raised border control eyebrows.


In Praise of the Unpasteurized

My biggest regret about not living in France is cheese.

A few weeks ago, my friend Brian (he of 90/60 blood pressure and 48 bmp heart rate) arrived to a small birthday celebration I’d hastily thrown together for myself with several raw-milk cheeses he’d just brought back from France. I can’t even remember what I cooked — the cheeses were the stars of the night.

Contraband French cheeses

Contraband French cheeses

You are not allowed to bring soft unpasteurized cheese into the United States. Which technically makes Brian a smuggler. But these are cheeses worth any risk — rich, deep and complex in a way you just can’t find in the imported stuff. More

Let it Roll, Baby, Roll

It was Nat’s idea, and a good one at that.

“Let’s make lobster rolls on Sunday,” he said on Wednesday over margaritas at our house. “Let’s invite ourselves over to the Glynn’s house and go swimming and do it there.” This was my kind of spontaneous inspiration!

Nat would buy the lobsters, I would do the cooking, and they would host. (Coincidentally, as it turned out, our friends, “the Glynn’s” — Aaron and Britt — had been planning on inviting us all over that very day, so they were amenable to the announcement that they would be hosting a party.)


Nat got online to order the crustaceans, and I leapt from my chair. “Hold on, hot dog!” I said, “That’ll cost you $75 in shipping! Have you tried the 99 Ranch Market?” More