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Oh dear - thinking over the last few years I've made some howlers of mistakes with French ingredients.

Like the time I bought some cod.   Looked a nice cut of white fish.   Cooked the fish, then made a lovely cheese sauce (sorry but made with tasty cheddar chees) - mixed it all up to put in a dish to finish off in the oven - and only at that point did I taste it.   Aaarrrgh - the cod was salty, salty and horrible - I hadn't realised I should have soaked away the salt for 24 hours.   All that lovely food - had to be chucked out.

A small jar of green tomato 'chutney' - thought it would be lovely with some cold ham.    It was horrible - it was like a sweet jam.

A small carton of chopped salmon with balsamic oil - thought it would be nice in sandwiches;  yuk - looked like cat food and the oil over-whelmed taste of salmon - disgusting.

But the latest 'aaarrrgh'  moment is this.   I find french milk rather 'thin'; the red top bottle is all I will use, and the UHT stuff is disgusting - nasty tang.

Our little local shop occasionally has GREEN TOP 'BIO' milk - which is delicious, slightly more body and much more like British milk.   We always look out for this green topped 'bio' milk but don't seem to see it in the big super-markets.

Until last week - then whoopeee - some green topped bottles alongside the usual red and blue tops.   We were in a hurry, didn't really look at the bottles, just merrily put 5 bottles in the trolley.

Get home;  make a cup of tea - pour in the fresh milk from the green topped bottle -

AND IT CURDLES - oh yuck, disgusting.

The sell-by date was 2 weeks ahead - so shouldn't have done that.   Throw the milk away.

Open new bottle later on to have a cup of coffee.

Same thing - the milk curdles............... again sell-by date 2 weeks ahead.

So I look at the label - which reads -

'LAIT FERMENTE MAIGRE' -  what the ??????

Now the weird thing is that I used half-a-pint to make a white sauce for a complicated savoury dish - and it seemed perfectly OK;  finished result had a very, very slight tang of french cheese but not really noticeable, so the milk was OK when used in a white sauce.

But not in tea or coffee.

Anyone got any information about what I've actually bought - and poured into my tea and coffee - 'cos it didn't mix with the hot liquid, that's for sure.

Chessie (still learning !!)
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If you look in your local bio shops you will probably find lait de brebis, sheep milk and it's lovely rich and creamy. They may well sell raw milk too. Of our 3 bio supermarkets here in Carcassonne one sell the raw, all sell the brebis and a couple sell horse mik, both liquid and powered!!

I have been steering away from milk and use out milk in my tea. It tastes good to me and making poridge with it is superb!!

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I love lait fermenté, its a real delicacy, normally I have to travel to the Arab market to buy it and its a real treat when its on the shelves at Lidl as a promo.


I suggest that you try to embrace the différences and treat buying food as a voyage of discovery, no use hankering for cheddar cheese and English tea with non homogenised full cream milk, all of which you will (and it sounds like have) find from time to time when you can celebrate like I do when I find lait fermenté.


Speaking for myself, its not hard to adapt.


Editted, it is intended for drinking like a yoghurt drink, I like to use it on muesli. For sauces I use cr^me fraiche but lait fermenté would do the same job, if you would not put sour cream in your tea you should not use lait fermenté.


My mistake that I still make when hurried even after a decade is to think that lait écrémé is full cream milk, now at one time I thought thats what the word meant, i know better now so possibly its the colour of the packaging that throws me. 

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Agree wholeheartedly, Chance.  It's been years since I had fresh milk, full- or half-cream.  But then, our income is modest, so it makes sense to source and buy only local ingredients.

Plus, like you have said, it's all part of the adventure.  Haven't had cheddar cheese in nearly 10 years.  Did buy cheddar cheese once but it was very expensive and not strong, mature cheddar so no point in wasting money on it when I can get French cheeses to try and enjoy.

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It is "lait ribot" you bought, chessie? Like the drink Chancer describes, it is a kind of "drinking yoghurt" much enjoyed in Brittany, but I have bought it (on purpose!) in the milk section of my Vendee HyperU.

So I can imagine it being fine in a white sauce, but disgusting in tea!
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Cheddar I miss, I only use cheese for cooking, cauliflower and leeks and Emmental is just tasteless (to me), it might as well be modelling putty so I bring grated cheddar back when I visit the UK and nothing much else, a chicken from Aldi because they are cheap, really good quality in an oven bag with a really solid alu tray which can be re-used for years, mustard powder, some Tesco value deodorants and thats about it.


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Loiseau - yes, that's exactly right - 'lait ribot' - that's what we bought.

Nice to know it can be used for baking scones etc - will have to do some batch baking to use up this milk.

And please everyone - don't be mean about my occasional use of cheddar - we're all entitled to little tastes of home from time to time, surely ?   After all, look at the aisles full of Polish, German, Dutch, Italian food items in the UK supermarkets !!!!!

As for french cheese - particularly goat cheese - oh please, it's disgusting.   Reminds me of sick, and the smell makes me feel sick;  I obviously don't have a very sophisticated palate like some.

It was just that I was looking forward to a nice cup of tea - and the milk curdled and looked horrible - I was very surprised.

Then I thought I must find out, from the clever ones on here, exactly what I'd bought, and why I was stupid enough to think it would be alright in a cup of tea, or coffee.

So now I know - thanks for all the info.

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Being in Dordogneshire the supermarkets tend to sell proper milk!

Why have milk in tea or coffee anyways? Isn't sugar sufficient!!!

"Cheddar" cheese is ubiquitous - initially found it rather bizarre when we visited a cheese factory in PEI, Canada that made the stuff.

As a contribution could I add that OH always keeps a tub of coffee-mate in the French house incase we run out.
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Once you have tasted 'proper' cantal entre deux there is no going back to plasticky cheddar. There is another cheese closely related but I can't remember the name. It is off this world. My god it is nice.

I guess cheddar has the same decomposed layer on the outside before being chopped off for the lazy Brit market.

I like red Leicester. That is nice on toast with some pepper.
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Chessie, I agree about goat's cheese.  It is, alas, ubiquitous around here.  There is a very popular dish called chevre chaud which is lettuce leaves with a piece of toast with goat's cheese on top.  I'd sooner skip lunch than eat that.

Cheddar cheese is wonderful, a unique flavour.  There is cheddar here called Wyke Farm (might not have the spelling right) and it is nothing like the genuine article.  Makes me think of processed Kraft cheese that is the nearest equivalent to cheese in some countries.

ALBF, maybe the cheese you are thinking of is laguoile?  If so, then I agree that it is a slice of veritable heaven[:)]

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We don't have milk milk, just oat milk, but we buy milk in England as our grandchildren are often round at our house; occasionally one of us will drink some, maybe to finish off a bottle, but it tastes very strange.

I love goat and ewe's cheese, buy some a couple of times each week, tastes delicious. A b&b we used to stay at in the Drôme served only goat cheese after dinner, from the goats down the hill, a large plate of it, starting with very fresh through more mature to rolled in cinders to really small and extremely brown.

They also served porc from their own pigs, which we had known from our daily wander round their land, a bit of an odd feeling to eat pigs we knew, but we they had had a very good life.
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When i ate cheese with bread like most of you probably do then yes I liked Cantal ED and there was another that I really liked, back then I would have agreed, there was no need to miss cheddar when there were so many exciting new alternatives, back then I took cheese with me back to the UK.


But now, for a sauce, for convenience it must be grated, no-one would argue with me that Emmental is good for nothing, Ibuy a mixed râpé au fromages that at least has a little flavour which is what I use all year round except for after a UK visit and as Nomoss has pointed out Cheddar keeps well, I can freeze the bags of grated Cheddar and they are really cheap but great flavour in Lidl and Aldi UK.

I quite like Mimolette, I tried the slices once for a gratin and whilst they might taste ok as they come when melted they are just a pile of tasteless chemical plastic just like Kraft cheese slices, Emmental is no better, that for me is the test of a real cheese and Cantal et al all pass it.

I love Marouilles but it smells of the dead, it has a great way fo making a house smell like an ax murderers crime scene but never smells close up, you can keep it in a sealed Tupperware box in a sealed fridge and you will be looking all over the house for the dead animal, the fridge, the Tupperware and even the cheese wont smell [:D]

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Mmm love - goats cheese and "jambon cru fume", smoked ham, on toast. Had it yesterday. NB I didn't think there can be a "genuine" cheddar cheese as its not got the equivalent of an appellation and is manufactured so widely.

NB The only equivalent to cream or double cream that a friend of ours (who is a chef) has found is "Creme Legere". Love to know if there is a better equivalent arround.

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Mascarpone has a higher fat content (48%) and is widely available (Lidl stock it) it can be mixed with other crêmes or crème fraiche for less fat content, its the only way I have found in France to whip cream like you can double cream.
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Lidl has replaced their cream in a plastic bottle (cold shelf) and the new one, though in a smaller bottle, is very much thicker.  Haven't tried whipping it as I am not a huge fan of whipped cream but, if any cream whips, I would imagine it would be that one.

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