I'm on the last chapter /section of Michael Pollan's Cooked. He has some interesting things to say about cheese a nun called Sister Noëlla who lives in Connecticut and makes a cheese called Bethlehem which is more or less the same as the Auvergne's Saint-Nectaire. If you don't want to read the book - and it's taken me a month of elapsed time - you can hear Pollan reading some of the juicier excerpts at a foodie conference. Over the weekend, I as hanging out with Dau.II and her bloke and her grandfather Pat the Salt. We all got fed up with the TV rather quickly and Dau.II suggested we watch an episode of the TV series based upon Cooked that is available on Netflix: here's the trailer. The smiley face of Sister Noëlla makes a brief appearance. The films - we saw 1.25 of them and fell asleep over another (right after dins) - are gorgeous and complementary to the book rather than a précis of the text. The series has clearly been made in the tradition of David Attenborough - high production values and tight editting so that you feel you're getting a mouthful of executive summary.
Every year people die from eating unPasteurised cheese - it's the Listeria stupid - but I don't think that's sufficient reason to ban the stuff. Far more people die each year in automobiles and nobody is seriously suggesting these pleasure vehicles should be forbidden. Apparently Sister Noëlla saw off the local Food Feds by adding E.coli to a) her wooden barrel and b) a 'clean' culture of Pasteurised milk in a stainless steel vat. The latter was far, far more coliform than her stuff, because her stuff was a thriving mutually supportive community that could together resist attack from the interloping Black Hats. Vive le fromage, vive la microbiome, vive la France.
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