Don't cheddar tear - cheese is on the menu for the French state dinner honouring King Charles and Queen Camilla.
As you may have heard, King Charles and Queen Camilla have started their three-day visit to France and are expected at the Château de Versailles tonight (Wednesday 20 September) for the state dinner in their honour.
French President Emmanuel Macron will host the royals, and tonight's dinner takes place in the famed Hall of Mirrors at the former French royal palace. And France has got to France, needing to uphold its reputation as one of the global leading cheesemakers, boasting more than 1,200 varieties of cheese.
The menu will feature blue lobster, Bresse French poultry with mushroom gratin, and will conclude with a set of three hand-picked cheeses before the dessert concocted by Pierre Hermé.
On the cheeseboard: two French and one English.
"Contrary to the often-held view that you can't find any decent food in England, it's totally untrue, you can find great products there and especially great cheese," Alsatian cheesemaker Bernard Antony told L'Alsace newspaper.
Whatever you say, Bernard. He is, after all, the Elysée's master cheesemaker, and has been commissioned for this special occasion - so we'll take his word for it.
On his selection plate are a Pélardon, a raw goat's milk cheese emblematic of the Cévennes and Languedoc regions, as well as a Comté de Grande Garde, matured for 30 months.
The renegade Brit curd will be a Stichelton, with mirabelle plum jelly.
No, that’s not a spelling gaffe – the Stichelton is a blue cheese similar to Stilton, except that it does not use pasteurised milk. The name comes from an ancient form of the name of Stilton village in Cambridgeshire, England. It was named one of the world's top five cheeses by French chef Anne-Sophie Pic, who is in charge of the seafood starters at the state dinner.
Sadly, no inclusion for the 'Berthaut Epoisses 'Perrière', this year’s recently crowned recipient of the Best Cheese in the World title. Too smelly, perchance?
Let’s just hope King Charles will be eating the cheese and not getting any ideas... The royal previously revealed the secret (and rather delicious) recipe he uses to power his Aston Martin to the BBC. He converted his beloved car, which has been driving for over five decades, to run on wine and cheese. The Aston Martin uses a fuel called E85, made from what he describes as “surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process.”
As you do.
King Charles has always been outspoken when it comes to environmental protection and in 2020, even ventured into sustainable fashion by collaborating with designers Vin + Omi to produce a clothing collection made out of nettles from his garden.