Patrice Marchand, of les frères Marchand, is a cheese master—an affineur, in his native France. What is a cheese master, you may ask? Patrice, along with his two brothers, dedicates his life to selecting, ageing, and maturing fine French cheese from hundreds of small producers across the country, and distributing the end result throughout the globe.
Patrice travels with his cheese to help educate customers, clientele, and interested public about the complexities and intricacies of fine French cheese. This pursuit brought him, once again, to Bangkok for a special cheese tasting event at Sofitel SO Bangkok: one of a handful of local outlets for the Marchand brand.
We took the opportunity to try and stump this knower-of-all-things-cheesy, asking him to compare some of the strongest characters of the geopolitical world with the strongest cheeses on his own maturing shelves.
General Prayuth Chan-ocha
Patrice: I think goat cheese, chèvre des vosges. In Chiang Mai there is a producer of this goat cheese. It’s completely different from the French goat cheese, but it exists. And that is very nice.
Patrice: A very hard cheese because Putin is strong. I don’t know if I should choose a hard cheese or a character cheese. Maybe a character cheese. I will choose époisses because it could be very strong.
2Mag: Could be very strong?
Patrice: Yes. It could be...
Patrice: The problem with this guy, for me, is if I choose a cheese, the producer may be in trouble [laughs] and that makes your question very difficult. You know, he is like a baby. When you see him, he is like a baby: very round. He looks like a creamy cheese. But he’s stronger, too. I will say camembert, because camembert can be very soft and could be very strong.
Patrice: Justin Trudeau, it will be a comté because he lives in Canada, which is very cold. The coldest area of France is le Jura, and in le Jura we do the comté.
Patrice: Wow. Ah, Xi Jinping: Bleu de brebis-cire. Why? Because it’s like a rochfort but more creamy and less salt. But it could also be very strong.
Queen Elizabeth II
Patrice: Stilton. Very sweet, and very strong. And the Queen is a very strong lady.
Patrice: Old mimolette. Why? Because it’s bright orange.