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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
When I first began studying wine, I remember reading that the French called the trio of wine, bread and cheese the “holy trinity.” I cannot disagree. However, throw in a spa treatment and life is perfect!
What wine, bread and cheese have in common, other than being delicious, are that they are all products of fermentation. But then how does the spa fit in? Well, it fits because it also includes fermentation. If this sounds good to you, then head down the scenic Bohemian Highway to Freestone, Sonoma’s first historic district. Freestone’s population is only 32 but it is home to the “fermentation corner” with includes a winery, bakery, cheese store and spa. joseph-phelps-freestone-4
Creamy, semi-soft, hard, cow, sheep, goat....so many cheeses to choose from! I love cheese. Who doesn't? And, like wine, when you have really good cheese, you can taste its terroir, where it is from. But, it can be intimidating or overwhelming when it comes to really understanding French cheese. There are 350-400 types of French cheese, and with many varieties within each type, there may be more than 1000 different types of French cheese. Cheeses of France Have no fear! Cheeses of Europe and the French Cheese Board are here to help. Their mission is to create awareness about the variety of the cheeses of France available on the US market and the multiple ways that American consumers can incorporate the cheeses into their diets, their recipes and their lifestyles. One of the ways they do this is by creating pop-up stores in cities, like they did recently in Santa Monica. An outdoor pop-up store was created in the center of Santa Monica Place and for one day consumers could taste cheese (for free) and buy cheese (at great prices). Here are some of the cheeses we tasted and learned about: