One of France’s top cheesemongers, Francois Robin, paid a visit to Dubai to showcase French cheeses recently.
The event, organised by the French Dairy Board in Dubai, was aptly hosted at French celebrity chef Pierre Gagnaire’s Pierre’s Bistro & Bar in Festival City.
It saw a range of F&B professionals from the UAE being treated to an alternative cheese board which showcased unique creations associating sweets and cheese.
Speaking at the event, François said: “In the Middle East people have a very sophisticated taste when it comes to cheese and are familiar with the likes of Camembert, Brie, Roquefort and even Comté, all of which our outstanding cheeses on their own. However, these cheeses are also very malleable and are the ideal accompaniment to fruits, nuts, honey and even gingerbread giving an even greater range of taste.
“The beauty of cheese, particularly French cheese, which is one of the best in the world, is it can be matched with such a variety of local ingredients. I regularly use spices, pomegranate molasses, lemongrass, coriander, ginger and dates when making cheese. When I’m being creative and developing new tastes and sensations it is imperative to use the very best ingredients and that’s where French cheeses really come into their own,”
The UAE has been quick to heed François’s advice, last year importing 2,725 tons of French cheese. Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait, imported a total of 17,900 tonnes.