European Cheese & Tea Pairing @ The Majestic Hotel KL

The best cheese in the world undoubtedly comes from Europe where artisans and big producers endeavour to create the finest dairy products. Cheese producing countries that come to mind are traditionally EU member states with France leading the way in both local consumption and international exposure. The choice of types of European cheese is staggering with every taste catered for from rich and creamy soft cheese served simply with good bread to tart hard cheese grated over your favourite pasta dish.

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Cheese & Tea Pairing: A Smorgasboard of European Cheese


Cheese making is an ancient artisanal process and legend has it that it was made by accident by an Arabian merchant who put milk into a sheep’s stomach pouch and went across the desert. That night he discovered that the milk had separated into curd (solid) and whey (liquid) caused by the rennet (enzymes found in the stomachs of milk-fed animals) in the sheep’s stomach and the heat of the day.

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A Smorgasboard of European Cheese

Europe may now be the centre of the cheese making industry but it is thought that travellers from Asia introduced the process. The mighty Roman Empire was also responsible for the spread of cheese making throughout its territories; and during the Middle Ages European monasteries experimented and began producing different types of cheese. There are records of Gorgonzola being made in Northern Italy in 879AD and Roquefort in France in 1070AD.

With this illustrious past, Europe is still the epicentre of the cheese industry with their local populations consuming the majority of their products; although it is interesting to note that emerging markets like Malaysia’s consumption is increasing steadily as consumers become more knowledgeable and adventurous with their palate.

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Chef Jean-Michel Fraisse introduced the European Cheese at The Majestic Hotel

Cheese is divided into 4 types:
Soft: Ripened from the outside in with a white rind, often runny at room temperature. Examples: Brie, Camembert, Reblochon, Mont d’Or.

Semi-soft: Smooth or creamy interior with little or no rind. Flavour ranges from mild to pungent. Examples: Raclette, Abondance, Morbier, Port Salut.

Hard: Firm texture with tastes ranging from mild to pungent; easy to grate. Examples: Emmental, Beaufort, Mimolette, Tomme de Savoie. 

Blue: Green or blue veining caused by the addition of the mould penicillium roqueforti during production. Examples: Saint Agur, Bleu de Auvergne, Bleu de Gex.

European Cheese & Tea Pairing @ Orchid Room, Majestic Hotel, KL

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Six diverse types of cheese paired with 6 different teas

Let’s start! The Cheese Platter is a simple yet classic way to present and enjoy different types of European cheese. Recently, the Orchid Conservatory at the Majestic Hotel played host to an exciting Cheese Platter experience with Chef Jean-Michel Fraisse who introduced a variety of delicious European cheese with a unique twist – pairing the cheese with different types of teas.

“European cheese is usually paired with certain condiments and wines, but to show how inspired and distinctive cheese can be as an ingredient, we have decided to use tea to enliven the tasting experience,’ said Chef Jean-Michel. This prestigious event was part of the Open Your Taste with European Cheese campaign organized and presented by the European Union and the CNIEL (Centre National Interprofessionel de l’Economie Laitière, France).

Chef Jean-Michel's cheese platter comprised the following types of cheese - Saint Marcelin, Reblochon, Comté, Fourme d’Amber, Brie and Bethmale - paired with a selection of teas.

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Fourme d’Ambert is a mild blue cheese with a creamy and fruity flavour

Fourme d’Amber: blue cheese from the Auvergene region in France made with cow’s milk and aged for 2 months. This is one of the mildest blue cheeses with a creamy, fruity flavour. It’s ideal for salads or eaten simply with pear slices.

Saint Marcelin: soft cheese from Rhone Alpes region in France made from cow’s milk and aged for 2 to 6 weeks. This is a full-flavoured creamy cheese has a nutty and fruity taste. It’s usually served with French bread.

Reblochon: soft cheese from Rhone Alpes region in France made from cow’s milk and aged for 6 to 8 weeks. This is exceptional creamy cheese has a strong aroma and a nutty after taste. It’s usually melted over a potato based dish.

Cheese & Tea Pairing, Smorgasboard, European Cheese,European Cheese platter, Saint Marcelin, Reblochon, Comté, Fourme d’Amber, Brie, Bethmale, Pun Mun Tan, White Peony, Sencha, Green Tea, Rose Blend, Oolong, Darjeling, Golden Pu Erh, Black Tea, cheese & tea pairing at the majestic hotel kl, the majestic hotel kl, Chef Jean-Michel Fraisse
Brie isone of France’s most well-known cheese and a popular choice 
for a cheese platter

Brie: one of the most well-known of France’s cheeses made from cow’s milk and aged for at least 4 weeks with a soft creamy texture, rich aroma and mellow flavour. Brie is popular, easily obtainable choice for a cheese platter.

Cheese & Tea Pairing, Smorgasboard, European Cheese,European Cheese platter, Saint Marcelin, Reblochon, Comté, Fourme d’Amber, Brie, Bethmale, Pun Mun Tan, White Peony, Sencha, Green Tea, Rose Blend, Oolong, Darjeling, Golden Pu Erh, Black Tea, cheese & tea pairing at the majestic hotel kl, the majestic hotel kl, Chef Jean-Michel Fraisse
Comté a hard cheese with a complex fruity and nutty taste

Comté: hard cheese from Franche-Comté region in France made from cow’s milk and aged for at least 4 months but can go up to 6, 12 or even 18 months. It has small scattered holes called ‘eyes’ and a complex flavour with fruity and nutty hints. It can be eaten on its own, melted in fondue or grated over dishes.

Cheese & Tea Pairing, Smorgasboard, European Cheese,European Cheese platter, Saint Marcelin, Reblochon, Comté, Fourme d’Amber, Brie, Bethmale, Pun Mun Tan, White Peony, Sencha, Green Tea, Rose Blend, Oolong, Darjeling, Golden Pu Erh, Black Tea, cheese & tea pairing at the majestic hotel kl, the majestic hotel kl, Chef Jean-Michel Fraisse
Bethmale semi-soft cheese that has a pungent aroma and a rich milky flavour

Bethmale: semi-soft cheese from Pyrenees region in France made from cow’s milk in the village of Bethmale. This cheese is aged for a minimum of between 4 and 8 weeks. It is regularly washed with a brine solution to encourage the growth of a mould which helps to develop the cheese. It has a pungent aroma and a rich milky flavour.

Cheese & Tea Pairing

Cheese & Tea Pairing, Smorgasboard, European Cheese,European Cheese platter, Saint Marcelin, Reblochon, Comté, Fourme d’Amber, Brie, Bethmale, Pun Mun Tan, White Peony, Sencha, Green Tea, Rose Blend, Oolong, Darjeling, Golden Pu Erh, Black Tea, cheese & tea pairing at the majestic hotel kl, the majestic hotel kl, Chef Jean-Michel Fraisse
Cheese and tea pairing from left to right: Bethmale with Golden Pu’Erh, Fourme d’Ambert with Darjeeling, Brie with black tea, Comté with Oolong, Saint-Marcellin with Rose Blend, Reblochon with White Peony

The selection of cheese will be paired with Pun Mun Tan (White Peony), Sencha (Green Tea), Rose Blend, Oolong, Darjeling, Golden Pu’Erh and Black Tea.

Fourme d’Amber pair with Darjeling
Saint Marcelin pair with Sencha or Rose Blend
Reblochon pair with Pai Mun Tan (White Peony)
Brie pair with Black Tea
Comté pair with Oolong Tea
Bethmale pair with Golden Pu’Erh

The Majestic culinary team also offered a special cheese-based menu to showcase the versatility of cheese as an ingredient. This was an epicurean experience for all the senses with blind taste tests, the chance to see how a unique cheese platter was created and most importantly to eat well. European cheeses are readily available from premium grocers and supermarkets. 

6 comments:

  1. So cheesie! Majestic hotel always know how to host event. It look so majestic.

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  2. Oh! I wish I could dine in Majestic Hotel.. That hotel looks os nice!!!~

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  3. OMG just can't resist CHEESE! Can I try all 4 types of cheese? Drooool :P

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  4. I like Bethmale semi-soft cheese

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  5. Gosh those are way too tempting, can't deny the cheese attracts me a little ;p

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  6. So many different types of cheese. I know I can't stomach all of them, only the milder ones.

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