National Cheese Day was this past week and the first thing that came to mind was a memory from my youth. I recall the beginnings of my love affair with Paris which lead to my love of French cheeses!
When I was eleven years old I rode my bike down the block to my girlfriend Charlotte’s house. It was a Friday afternoon, after school. I wanted to make a playdate for Saturday.
When I rang the doorbell and told Charlotte my plan, she replied that she couldn’t. She said, “I can’t play. I am going to Paris for the weekend!”
Stunned, I asked, “YOU are going to Paris, France for the weekend?”
She laughed, “No, I am going to Paris, Illinois.” Once I said goodbye, I recall riding my bike home at top speed. While riding I told myself with determination and a big smile on my face, “One day I will go to Paris, France!”
MY LOVE OF PARIS, FRANCE
That day began my romance with Paris, France; not Paris, Illinois. This small-town girl from Kankakee by the Sea could not stop herself from falling in love with everything French! I fell in love with French perfume. My favorite scents today are Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum, and Shalimar Eau de Parfum, by Guerlain.
Not to mention, the French language and her music, (I only listen to French music in my car). I fell in love with French fashion and French architecture. With Monet’s Garden, Marie Antoinette’s home, the Petit Trianon, in the Park at Versailles.
I fell in love with French restaurants and Bistros. La Grenouille in Manhattan with its stunning floral arrangements fit for a Queen. And Tour d’Argent in Paris with its scene of Notre Dame out the windows. It opened as a restaurant in 1686 but technically opened as an inn in 1582. This makes it the oldest restaurant on Earth! All of this brings me to finely aged and tasteful French cheeses.
AGE TASTEFULLY LIKE FRENCH CHEESE
Not only do I rapture over the flavor of French cheeses that age tastefully, but I also love the wrapping. In one of the local grocery stores, in particular, I look forward to visiting their cheese department. I adore admiring the packaging and different varieties of French cheese. I especially love Camembert and Brie and sprinkling Roquefort on salads.
Did you know there are 1,000 types of cheeses in France? And 56 of them are classified, protected, and regulated under French law. When I learned this fact I was very surprised. Did you know that Chevre or goat cheese and Muenster cheese were ranked in the top ten kinds of cheese in France? The top three on the list, I mentioned without knowing where they ranked, are my favorites
FRENCH WOMEN AGE EXQUISITELY LIKE FINE CHEESES
I equate Paris with femininity. Cheese packaging is beautiful and it always catches my eye like a beautiful French woman. Neither are garish and both are perfectly packaged.
AMERICAN WOMEN CAN LEARN FROM FRENCH WOMEN
A French woman fifty + has qualities to emulate. French women feel empowered. I speak from experience because I have Parisian friends. They have a refinement about them with a mix of haughtiness, composure, and flair. Not to mention, an aura that comes from their French culture. They live a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline. This offers a woman her best chance of living a luxurious and exquisite life. They are like finely aged cheese; always striving for perfection.
TASTE IS AGELESS
My French friends seem to have a plan. They visualize the way they want their life to be at sixty, seventy, eighty, and ninety. These women take care of their bodies, rarely do I see heavy-set French women in Paris. They are keenly aware that their bodies have to last them well into their nineties.
These women protect their skin from the sun, they take Pilates and Yoga. Also, they drink lots of Evian water because they do not want to look like a prune! They dress simply, wear little make-up and they are selective about everything. And that includes their love of French cheeses.
You can compare a French woman to a French cheese recipe, one of perfection whose taste is ageless. The two have a common denominator we should embrace.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE AN AMERICAN WOMAN
Let us never underestimate the American woman who rides her wave differently. She does not want to look back on her life, wishing. She wants physical adventures and is willing to take emotional risks. In general, an American woman expresses her feelings and lets herself be more vulnerable than a French woman. An American woman is also more open to having role models. I suggest she talk with a French woman that she knows.
To conclude, I say on National Cheese Day we should applaud the French for enriching our lives with 1,000 varieties of cheeses. It is time to start entertaining at home, going out for dinner to our favorite restaurants. It’s time to have lunch with girlfriends and get on a plane for Paris. French cheese on crackers with a divine wine and fresh grapes can easily be part of each meal. Let’s go for it.
Have you been to Paris, France? If so, did you try any French cheeses? Please let me know in the comments!
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