Wednesday 17 December 2014


Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the table.... something new comes out and bites you. The latest idea to give a whole new meaning to the term "cheese board" was highlighted in Phillippe Samzun's article "Cheese? It's childs play!" in La Nouvelle République of 15 December 2014. Here's what he said.

A cheese maker from Fondettes has created a board game dedicated to the cheeses of France. A sort of Monopoly in soft cheese for children and adults.

Play and learn! Photograph - La Nouvelle République

Charles de Gaulle used to say that a country possessing 365 different sorts of cheese was by  its very nature ungovernable. Today you can find 1,200 ... how well do you think President Hollande can get away with it?

Cheeses are the speciality of Jean-Louis Bulté. This chap lives in St Maure - which places him already in the lap of destiny - and he runs three creameries at Fondettes, Bléré and Loches. (*) Creameries which, from now on, will be selling a home made board game dedicated "to this jewel in the crown of our national heritage".

In the matter of board games, his wife got there before him. "She's mad about history, and she created Histofoly, and it's now sold at the Chateaux of Chenonceau and Amboise. JTS, a games producer in Joué-les-Tours, encouraged us to do it again."

It must be said that, in this matter, there is what to say and what to do. Expert in AOP (**),  Jean-Louis Bulté is unstoppable on the subject of cheeses with a powdery crust, pressed cheeses cooked and uncooked, soft cheeses with a washed crust, blue cheese, goat cheese and the "petits laits" name given uniquely to Corsican cheeses. The proliferation of brands is a result of the work put in by the dairy industry to try to soften the blows of the economic difficulties they are encountering. This board game results from the same sort of logic.

"It's a game and educational at the same time. The principle is simple. You have to bring together, on one card, a whole family of cheese. The first to have filled their plate is the winner."

Getting there, but not a winner yet.
 Amazingly, the only cheese picture in my photo library -
a St Maure (left)  and a Pouligny soft goats cheese,
both from our neighbours at Pré,
served with love at La Promenade, Le Petit Pressigny in August 2012.
The hole in the St Maure is for the traditional straw.

In total, there are 640 questions, some of which are designed for children, colour cubes, puzzles, stories, with the possibility at the end of the day of becoming unbeatable on the subject of the cheesemaking, maturing, salting processes; an expert in raw milk; a know-it-all about PDOs (***). Aside from which, a player might just end up the possessor of a degree of competence running France!

* La balade des fromages, 6, rue du Général-de-Gaulle, Bléré. La passion des fromages, 9 rue de la République, Fondettes, La crémerie du Château, rue Picois à Loches. 
** Appellation d'origine protégée.
*** Protected Designation of Origin.

The game is for sale for 19.90 € in the three shops.

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