Feb 10, 2014

My Little Cabbage: Coeur Gourmand Figue


In preparation for Valentine's Day, I thought you might need some terms of endearment to call your honey, lovebug, or sweetie-pie something with a French twist.

I don't want to give you the same old list, including many I don't hear in use. So, these are the ones I actually hear, on a day-to-day basis, especially from parents talking to their children. Let's face it, I'm at school drop-off/pick-up where people greet their kids far more than I'm at some seductively-lit hip restaurant/bar overhearing lovers murmuring sweet nothings.

Ma puce: Puce officially translates as "flea, midget, or chip" but I've always understood this to be flea. In my case, or the case of my tiny daughters, "midget" would work pretty well, too.
Mon petit chou: Often translated as "My little cabbage" ("chou") though it's more likely to be named for a "chou a la crème" which means puff pastry. Less colorfully, in fact, it's most likely to come from neither of these but rather to be a derivative of "chouer" which is the archaic version of "choyer" which means to pamper or coddle.
Mon amour: My love
Mon cher/ma chère, mon chéri/ma chérie: My dear
Mon coeur: My heart
Ma biche/ma bichette: My doe/my little doe
Mon ange: my angel
Ma cocotte: my hen
Ma mie: my dear (comes from amie), though mie also means the soft bread interior
Mon chaton: my kitten
Mon poussin: my little chick

This is a small production cheese from the Périgord region (also known as la Dordogne). It is an ultra-soft cheese made from goat's milk that's been -- somewhat unusually, especially for a soft cheese --  pasteurized. But it seems to compensate for the pasteurization with other qualities, including a lightness and freshness. It's about as close to a goat mousse as you can get without actually making a goat mousse.
And let's face it: The  sweet, jammy fig interior doesn't hurt either. It's like a Fig Newton, if the Newton were creamy, fluffy, mousy goat cheese. And who doesn't love a goaty Fig Newton?


"Mon coeur" could be either a term of endearment, or me talking about this cheese. The best translation for "gourmand" in English is actually "sweet tooth" (whereas in English we use the word "gourmand" to mean somebody who eats quantity vs. quality); so between the name, and the fig filling, this cheese is a real Sweetie-Pie.


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