I first fell in love with this somewhat surprisingly, but so deeply delicious, marriage of flavor while traveling in France last fall.

Chocolate and cheese. Intensely dark chocolate and sharp, hard cheese.
semi-sweet. creamy. tangy. luxurious. mouthwatering. oh, so satisfying.

You see, there comes a time while traveling when you simply cannot bear the thought of one more meal consumed within the walls (or in the sake of France – the open air) of yet another restaurant.
For us, this occurred quite early on during the month-long sojourn of the French frontier.

And, with the bounty of market fresh produce, insanely amazing cheese, and sinfully savory salami peeking out from every corner stand, it was simply impossible to resist the idea of a patio picnic all on our own.

Many an evening consisted of a giant smorgasbord of 70% Lindt (it’s different there…if anyone is traveling to France, I’ll hire you to bring me back some of this stuff) A Cuisinere chocolate, nutty and sweet mimolette sharp cheese, fresh peaches and berries, a handful of nuts, perhaps some avocado, and a bottle of wine…

…an absolutely perfect way to dine…

Cheese and Chocolate

Thus, came the discovery of the contrasting flawlessness of semi-sweet with sharp and pungent. If you think about it, it really does make sense. Opposites attract – but also complement.
Honestly, the depth and deliciousness of this match made in heaven is beyond words.
You simply must give it a whirl.

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As you dream and romanticize the journey we rode through France, I’ll add just a hint of comic relief and the reality of traveling abroad for over a month before I reel you back in ~
While the bounty of fromage may seem rather irresistible, the weeklong stay in a flat directly above a fromagerie in Axe created the necessity to endure the pungent power of ripe cheese curds wafting through the hallway each and every day ~ all day and all night. And while dining al fresco and exploring the cobblestone streets of Paris, Bordeaux, and Axe appears to be lovely, the brisk and humid air of October and France came as quite a chilly (and downright frigid) surprise to two underdressed and well underprepared Americans fumbling about. And, finally, as it may seem like a dream to drink your way through wine country, the true tragedy arose as we struggled to enjoy even one glass of wine for the entire weeklong stay in Bordeaux – for shame! I don’t believe I’ll ever develop an affinity for the gravelly salami taste and smell these famous wines impart. I can those sensiomeres out from a mile (or this case, 20 square miles) away!
All this aside, I will continue to glamorize and idealize the experience I shared with my beloved each and every day and night for the rest of my time on earth.

After all, everything is better in France!

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Oh, and remember I mentioned the addition of nuts to our smorgasbord selection (often, salami too)?
Anyway, the rich and creamy smoothness of a fresh ground nut butter takes this snack even one step further. Then, fresh juicy peaches and berries ~ you’re entering into the way, way beyond…

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This time,
Sartori Bellavitano Espresso Cheese
Fresh Ground Almond Butter
Cacao Nibs

 

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