Jan 9, 2014

Perfect Setting for the Perfect Setting: La Tour de Capriferm

Looking up on the late-night walking home from the 7th arrondissement, Gigi and I see the Eiffel Tower not just lit up but twinkling like 324 metres (that's 1063 ft to you and me) of diamonds -- a lighting trick created for the New Year's celebration at the turn of the millennium and continued since then, nightly.

I don't have my bigger, better camera, so I use my little point-and-shoot to take a photo of Gigi standing in front of the monument. But what setting should I use? Why, of course! If ever there was a time in my life to use this setting--


-- a setting that is officially called the "Night Snapshot" mode and is represented by the icon showing the person in front of the Eiffel Tower at night -- it is right now.

This has Gigi and me giggling all the way home. If only there were such a perfect setting for each and every occasion -- the baby-with-food-on-face icon, husband-dressed-up-by-daughters-in-tiara-and-tutu icon, Aunt-Lisa-belly-dancing-at-twighlight icon, etc. Well, here's the tower again, a freebie photo from a Kodak kid, just to show you as much of the twinkle as a still picture can capture with a small point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot.

You can see La Tour Eiffel twinkling from sunset to around midnight, for about five minutes every hour, on the hour.

THE CHEESE: La Tour de Capriferm

La Tour de Capriferm is, as the name suggests, a big tower (un tour) of cheese. In this case, it's a fermier (farmhouse) cheese made of raw whole goat's milk and is made in the small town of Chenôves, in Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy. It is very closely related  -- very, very closely related -- to the more famous Charolais. But since the Charolais received its AOC status in 2010, there is a distinction between the two. While a Charolais must be aged at least 16 days, a Capriferm can be aged as little as two days. However, for a mi-sec (half-dry) cheese that is commonly sold, it is usually aged one week at the farm and perhaps another week at the cheese shop. The longer it is aged, the stronger the flavor, and the locals in Burgundy tend to eat it more aged.

The one I buy in Paris is a mild-flavored cheese, with white interior and a texture that's drier and crumblier than a block of cream cheese. Though it does melt in the mouth, it's not at all spreadable. With a very mellow goaty and nutty flavor, it's great with honey drizzled on top. The mold is completely edible and, in fact, adds a little fuzzy texture into the bite which I realize sounds disgusting but is actually delicious.

La Tour de Capriferm is not famous, and it's not sparkling, but it is a tower.


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