Apr 3, 2015

Crudenesses of the Season: Losange de Chèvre


If you ever encounter an English-language menu that offers the Daily Soup du Jour ("Daily Soup of the Day"), or the Soup du Jour of the Day ("Soup of the Day of the Day"), I just hope you can appreciate the redundancy and the humor. But if that doesn't float your boat, perhaps this French menu item, helpfully translated into English for the tourists, will amuse your bouche: "The salad of crudenesses of season."

What you need to know about the menu -- which is "la carte" in French, is that you can order either à la carte (individual items off the menu) or you can order the menu. This does not mean you will be eating the paper for your dinner; the "menu" in French is the daily special du jour (yes, I did that on purpose), usually a 2 or 3-course option of entrée + plat, plat + dessert, or all three. Keep in mind, as you untangle the linguistic confusion that the "entrée" in French is what we in English call the "appetizer", and what we in English call the "entrée" is the "plat" in French. Since "entrée" means "entry" into the meal, I have to agree with the French logic on this one.

And just remember when you do order your dessert not to order it à la mode, which doesn't mean "with ice cream" but rather "in fashion".

Armed with all that, head off to your local French restaurant and bon appetit!

THE CHEESE: Losange de Chèvre

Losange de Chèvre, which means "Diamond-Shaped Goat Cheese" is not, in fact, diamond shaped. Rather, it's hexagonal, or roughly flower shaped. At least, that's the shape of the Losange that I buy -- not to be confused with the cheese of the same name that is, actually, in the shape of a diamond.

It's a beautiful, multi-toned, ashed goat cheese with a thick, wrinkly crust that looks just like the jowls of a Shar-Pei puppy. Luckily, it doesn't taste like a Shar-Pei puppy, but rather a lovely goat cheese -- thick, oozy, creamy, salty, herbal, and medium-strength.


The cheese platter du jour which is a dessert course choice on the menu du jour at the fancy restaurant Anthony and I visit for our anniversary serves a Losange de Chèvre. If you look at the cheese board, it's the diamond-shaped one in the foreground, which makes perfect sense since the word "losange" means "diamond-shaped".

So, there is a Losange de Chèvre on a platter du jour from the menu (or you could order the cheese board à la carte), but it's not the same Losange de Chèvre that I actually buy, bring home, photograph, and devour. So, just like there are two inconsistent meanings (French vs. English) for menu and entrée, there's also some discrepancy in just what a Losange de Chèvre is.


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