Sometimes a great dish can take you on a journey to a place you have never been before. That is the universality of food. It brings together people from every corner around the world regardless of their race, sex, age and class. It is a shared culture that connects everyone through a bite.
With the rise of tourism these days, food culture becomes even more border-less. Young generations travel the world and bring some flavors they have encountered to their homelands. Cheese is among those flavors and it is spreading in Thailand very quickly. Whether it is in a restaurant or at a buffet in a hotel, cheese is added to menus in variety of ways.
In response to this trend, The Centre National Interprofessionnel de l’Economie Laitière (CNIEL), with the support of the European Union, is bringing its third edition of the “Open Your Taste with European Cheese” workshop to Bangkok. Laurent Pousse, gourmet & cheese specialist at The Mall group, is going to share with Thai cheese enthusiasts the techniques and language of cheese-tasting and how to choose condiments that complement each cheese type as well as how to add cheese to Thai cuisine.
Cheese is a part of many European countries’ gastronomy and culture. It also represents a major industry in Europe, which is the world’s biggest cheese producer and consumer as seen from its production that grows every year from around 8.4 million tons in 2010 to over 9 million tons in 2016.
“The European Union has high food safety standards that the dairy industry has to meet. All procedures, from the milk-processing to the final product, has to be under strict quality control. This is what makes European cheese so high-quality,” said Laurent Damiens, Director of Communications of CNIEL.
European cheese can be consumed at any time of the day, from breakfast to lunch, snacking, appetizer and dinner. There are also endless possibilities of food and drinks it could be paired with, although there are a few tips to enhance the experience of cheese-tasting, as Pousse explain: “For food, you can eat cheese with breads, fruits, jams, honey, herbs or condiments. If you pair it with drinks, make sure that the characteristic of both cheese and drink match: mild cheese goes with a light wine while strong cheese goes with a bold wine. But, of course, any other kinds of drink, like beer, cider or champagne, can be paired with cheese as well, as long as you enjoy them.”
Mixing European Cheese with Thai Cuisine
Every country has their own different cuisine and distinct taste, but to fuse one recipe with another is to create an even more distinct and truly unique dish. By mixing the best quality of each country’s elements, a new taste will become apparent.
Thanks to young travelers who had brought home a new flavor from Europe, Thailand is introduced to European cheeses and it has become a craze because European cheeses can be used in Thai cuisine in varieties of ways, grated on meals, salads and soups, melted with noodles or cooked with rice. New menus are created, still traditional food is kept intact. Now, it is time.
“Food is a good way to introduce people to a variety of countries and cultures. Introducing cheese to Thais’ food habits is a way to bring a bit of Europe to their daily lives,” stated Pousse.