Bonjourrrrr, yah cheese-eatin’ surrender monkeys!

Published on 23 September 2007 in , , , , , ,

If you’ve had the misfortune to have been following by recent posts about our holiday in France, you might have noticed a series of tables at the bottom of each entry detailing the number of different cheeses eaten on a particular day.

If you did notice them, you might have wondered quite why they were there. And the answer is, because I put them there.

Oh, okay, there’s another reason. When it comes to France, what do you think of? Besides Gallic-looking men on bicycles wearing blue and white stripped jumpers and berets, with big bundles of onions around their necks. (Actually there might be some element of truth to that stereotype – I was watching an episode of BBC Two’s Coast and apparently in the 19th century, Breton onion sellers did pop over to the UK with big bundles of onions, selling them door to door)

Yes, the correct answer is cheese.

I love French cheese. Brie, Belle de Champs, Port Salut, Camembert… And so on. And the French have a bit of a reputation for loving their cheese – even having a cheese course in meals. So just how much cheese would we eat? I decided to find out, and the results have been on these blog posts.

I was interested purely in the number of different cheeses eaten per day. So if I ate two portions of Brie (say one in the evening and one at lunch) that only counted as one for the purposes of this discussion. However if I ate Brie on day 1 and day 2 – well that counts as one per day. Cheese in cooking was not included – so the cheese in a lasagne didn’t count. The cheese had to be distinct and recognisable. Actual names of the cheeses were generally not recorded. Indeed, often they weren’t even known. Also of note was whether Catherine’s vegetarian diet led to increased cheese intake, or not.

As ever, the best way to present such data is in the form of a chart. And a table.

Chart showing the number of cheeses eaten per day during our 2007 trip to France

Number of different cheeses eaten per day
Day Person
Andrew Catherine
1 3 3
2 5 6
3 3 2
4 6 6
5 0 2
6 3 4
7 4 4
8 0 1
9 1 2
10 3 2

So there you have it. As can be seen, some days I ate as much cheese as Catherine – despite having meat based options to eat. Notable is that most of our cheese eating was in Days 1-7 when we were staying in the Queyras region. Coincidentally (or not) this was also when we were staying full board. Once we got to Paris and we were paying for our lunches and evening meals, the amount of cheese dropped. Day 5 is of course, an odd one out.

And of course, some averages. On average I ate 2.8 different cheeses per day, whilst Catherine ate 3.2.

For the sake of contrast, here in Britain, I tend to have one cheese (on a sandwich most likely) about once or twice a week.

Conclusions? Well clearly there can be only one.

Yes, it’s that I’ve got far too much time on my hands if I can spend time making entries like this on the amounts of cheese eaten on a holiday.

1 Comment

  • Steve Jack says:

    Hi Bods / Andrew,
    Very much enjoyed reading your blog from our Queyras Alps holiday. Also glad to see from your completed questionnaire that you rated the holiday very well overall. I hope we can tempt you with another one sometime (the new brochure will be with you very soon after Christmas)
    I hope, like me, you use the festive season to indulge your penchant for all things French and cheesey… I wish you all the best for 2008, and hope you may be lucky enough to have another chat to that great Mancunian duo, Mark & Lard.
    Best Wishes,
    Steve Jack
    Inntravel Marketing Manager