Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fermier,artisinal,cooperative or industriel ?

The supermarket lady in the rakish pork pie hat has decided that she is going to educate me about cheese. Each time I go to the local store she slices off small pieces of Rigotte, Morbier, or Coulommiers and slides them across the counter for me to taste. Yesterday she had just had a delivery of three local varieties , Ardi-Gasna, Matocq and Le Petit Pardou. Names and textures that come from small farms in the foothills of the mountains that make artisinal cheese with herds of 50 or 60 cows. The flavour varies depending on the season, the lushness of the grass, and where the snowline lies. She stands and beams , arms folded, as the gospel of gastronomy is brought to a 'wild friend from the north'. Will I ever be able to tell the difference between the various methods of production?

Wilf is having his regular as clockwork once every ten days stomach upset. It must be something physical that developed after the pancreatitis.The vets can't seem to get a handle on what is bothering him. It may be routine but it still hurts to see this big, friendly happy fellow so down in the dumps. He wants to be alone but at the same time he just wants to snuggle down and be cuddled. The helpless 'do something ' look he gives us doesn't make it any easier to live with.


  1. I hope Wilf feels better--I know how difficult pancreatitis can be to get past. One of our Goldens never really did--We kept her on a "bland diet" for the remainder of her life...She would have loved the cheese no matter where it had come from!

  2. I hope Wilf feels better soon - it's awful when they give you that "help me" look and you don't know what to do.

  3. Im really sorry to hear about Wilf! These pooches really do give us sleepless nights, don't they!...Max is scheduled for yet another scan tomorrow..
    (Hope you haven't been playing 'cheese lady' with Wilf!?!)

  4. I hope Wilf feels better. It's the most helpless feeling in the world when you can't figure out what ails them. Those are the times I wish the hounds could talk. The rest of the time, I'm afraid they'd have more to say than I'd want to hear!

    That cheese looks and sounds delicious! I am in total envy!

  5. Oh, poor Wilf. As Houndstooth mentioned above, it is such a feeling of utter helplessness when our pups give us that "why can't you make me feel better" look.

    On the other hand, those cheeses look sublime. What a cruel thing to do to those of us with limited to no access to good unpasteurized French cheese. Do you have some favorites to recommend that we may be able to scrounge up at the gourmet market, s'il vous plait?

  6. Poor Wilf. I know the "my tummy hurts" look all too well. Our vet gave us a list of 'pancreatitis-friendly' dog foods and told us to never give ANY treats, besides rice cakes (which you recommended too)! I'm just wondering if your vet has foods that she "requires" dogs with pancreatitis to eat... In any case, please give Wilf a pat from KB.

  7. I forgot - what a fun education about cheese! My mom was a Francophile, a French literature scholar, who took me to France and tried to make me sophisticated about all sorts of things, including cheese. I'm not sure that I turned out to be the sophisticated lady that she envisioned. She's shaking her head at my antics somewhere up in the sky but, knowing her, she's not disappointed despite my 'unique' approach to life.

  8. Kim - Wilfy hates his bland diet - how he would have loved pasta in Italy and all sorts of goodies here in France. The most exciting thing he gets is a Ryvita

    Rocky Creek - Mark you canny old Wilf knows how to play the wounded soldier without any cause

    Max - Hopefully this is the final scan?

    Houndstooth - at least toddlers can point to where it hurts

    Petey - I'm not sure that any of the really good ones get exported - the joys of health and safety laws

    KB - We have him on low protein kibbles, Ryvitas, and rice cakes - not the most wonderful of diets.No wheat at all. We've even found that boiled broccoli , beans or brussel sprouts upset him. Are there any other tips your vet gave you?

  9. We had similar digestive issues with one of our Labs after a bout of pancreatitis. I'd love to tell you what cleared it up, but it mysteriously vanished...