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Ode to Brie and Camembert

Ode to Brie and Camembert

Brie and Camembert, what a formidable pair
Without which we would quite despair!

You are as royal sisters, sharing a similar story;
One illustrious and proud, and quite deserving of great glory.

Within the vast world of cheese
Your delightful duo aims to please.

And please us you certainly have, for hundreds of years,
The mere mention of your names being music to our ears.

We are in good company, as you have been favored by French Kings and other royalty,
Charlemagne, Napoleon, among the many seduced by your texture so velvety.

Yes, you have long had regal fans, though your roots trace back to the farm,
Where dairymen have long toiled to make you, under the spell of your charms.

We have the French cows to thank for their beautiful milk
Which produces a fromage of unsurpassable ilk.

But the French are not alone in their loyal appreciation of your worth,
No, the fame has crossed all national boundaries and you are now found in any situation of great mirth.

If celebrating some occasion, we would no doubt rejoice with some Brie or Camembert,
Along with champagne perhaps, and so we find you at the swankiest of affairs.

You offer innumerable varieties – beware not to overwhelm us!
We sometimes feel that we need to take a head count and conduct our very own census!

Do we buy Brie de Melun, de Meaux, de Montereau or de Coulommiers?
Or do we purchase Brie not all, but rather a milder, more subtle Camembert?

Still we are faced with an abundance of choices, and narrowing it down is not so easy,
Though we can rest assured we will get top-notch quality when choosing Camembert de Normandie.

We may enjoy you with a selection of wine or an array of fresh fruit after dinner.
Yes, you enthrall our picky palates, but with your high fat content you do not help make us thinner!

But we can forgive you the calories since we dare not overindulge and risk taking you two for granted
For in our minds, Brie and Camembert, in first place will you forever be firmly planted.

Written by Sarah Schuler
Former student of Pascal Dionot

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Poems: Ode to Asparagus


Ode to Asparagus

Asparagus, asparagus, let me sing thy praise.
Your reign as “Food of Kings” will endure to the end of days.

That Louis Quatorze of France, he loved you so dear
That he had greenhouse built especially to grow you throughout the year.

Yes, he was but one of many in a long line of fans,
Dating back to the Greeks, The Romans, even the ancient Egyptians.

You delight us in springtime, when all is anew,
Pleasing our palates as only you can do.

In your generosity you offer us a choice of green or white.
But we cannot declare one superior to the other, for that would not be right.

It has come to be that we Yanks favor your bright green spears,
While those on the continent have preferred white through the years.

We can certainly all agree that in the kitchen none can compare
To all that you have to offer, all that with us you do share.

For on any menu of worth we find you filling many roles, gracefully omnipresent –
As an appetizer, a refreshing salad, or perchance, as an accompaniment to pheasant.

You allow our culinary creativity to take flight and flourish,
As we ponder just exactly how best to prepare you for that unique and stellar dish.

Will we blanch you?  Steam you?  Saute you?  Or will we cook you not at all?
Since in your natural, raw state you also offer much and do us ever enthrall.

To peel, or not to peel, there are those who would debate the merits,
Since it is not as straightforward a matter as it would be with, say, some carrots.

However, that debate may be settled, we vow to cook you with the greatest finesse,
Mindful of not overcooking your spears or gentle tips, leaving you a mushy mess!

No, we would never disgrace you in such fashion, behaving with reckless abandon.
We would first get out of the kitchen and deservedly hang up our apron.

In gratitude for your many gifts to us, we make you this solemn vow,
And may our words ring true each spring, as they do in the here and now.

Written by Sarah Schuler
Former student of Pascal Dionot

Learn the best preparation for your asparagus at Classic Cooking Academy where cooking techniques are taught.        Visit our website

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