Food and Drink: Gastropod

THERE has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the cheese trade this past fortnight, following the abrupt withdrawal from the export market of Maison Androuet, the chief supplier of French cheeses to the rest of the world. Henri Androuet established his famous cheese shop at 41 rue Amsterdam, close to St Lazare, in the Twenties and built a reputation as le premier fromager de tout Paris. His son, Pierre, continued the family tradition and founded the Guilde des Fromagers de France, of which he was president until his retirement in the late Eighties.

Before he retired, Mr Androuet sold the business that bears his name to a consortium led by Air France, enabling Maison Androuet not only to open concessionary boutiques in every international airport across France, but also to distribute cheese in prime condition globally, par avion. From its warehouse at Creteuil in suburban Paris, Androuet supplied clients from New York to Hong Kong with fine cheese expertly matured by the masterful Raymond Felix. Until, that is, the EC sanitary inspector came to call.

Certain modifications to the premises were demanded. There must be impermeable flooring, special drains must be installed and a separate room built for the crucial process of washing the cheeses in brine. That seemed fair enough. But then the inspector further demanded the construction of two changing rooms for a staff of 15, most of whom are accountants, and a separate room to store the packing that cluttered a corner of the office.

Not only can Androuet not afford the alterations, the landlord of the building at Creteuil will not allow them. So Androuet has shut down its export operation, putting people out of work and leaving high-class cheesemongers with long faces as they search for a new supplier.

The firm will henceforth concentrate on restaurant supply from the original premises in rue Amsterdam. Of course, the old caves beneath the old shop do not conform to EC regulations either, so Maison Androuet will shut in June for two months' refurbishment. Mr Felix was said by an interpreter to be 'thoroughly cheesed off'.

WHAT is a good Jewish boy to do when dining in a Michelin-starred establishment where there is nothing on the menu that he can eat in good conscience? Sheldon Lazarus, the irrepressible producer of the television series Loyd a La Carte (currently showing on ITV's This Morning programme on Wednesdays at 10.35am) has just returned from filming the final leg of Monsieur Grossman's gastronomic tour de France.

Throughout the trip, from the Club Royale at Evian to the legendary La Voile d'Or in Cap Ferrat, Sheldon had to stick to omelettes and salads. 'It was all right living on truffle omelettes in the fleshpots of Provence,' he told the Gastropod, 'but Lyons was offal] I swear, they even eat the pig's squeak. Luckily, I found a place called the Grille d'Or, which serves kosher foie gras and fat, juicy steaks with the Rabbi's blessing.'

In Lyons, Mr Grossman met the mighty Paul Bocuse, who rides a motorbike, sports a ponytail and has a tattoo of a poulet de Bresse on his left shoulder. While Mr Bocuse demonstrated his classic volaille a la creme, Sheldon Lazarus ordered a plate of chips. 'I got exactly a dozen, absolutely perfect frites arranged in a lattice. They were the best chips I've ever tasted,' he declared, 'but beaucoup d'argent.'

TODAY and tomorrow from 11am- 5pm, Oddbins is hosting its third annual consumer wine fair in the splendid Art Deco ballroom of the Park Lane Hotel on Piccadilly, London. The entrance fee is pounds 10, which goes to charity, and there will be around 40 stands, representing winemakers from both the New and the Old worlds, who will be offering some 250 wines to taste. There will also be some cask-strength Scotch whisky on show as well as a selection of bottle-conditioned British beers; expect to find the Gastropod, propped up by Michael Jackson, somewhere between the two.

AS the barbecue season approaches, the Gastropod's eagle-eyed readers will have noticed the current ad campaign for Tabasco, exhorting us to splash it all over. This is but one facet of a massive promotional push the McIllhenny family is making to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the pepper sauce concocted by the current generation's great-grandfather.

The Country Store on Avery Island in the swamplands of Louisiana, where Tabasco comes from, is carrying a range of collectible souvenirs, including a commemorative bottle, a cookbook and a set of six posters depicting the Tabasco bottle in the styles of various art movements. By far the most desirable piece of merchandising, however, is the Tabasco fold-away barbecue. The Gastropod has got one and is willing to give it away to the composer of the wittiest verse, limerick or snatch of doggerel on the theme of barbecues. It will have to improve on the Gastropod's best effort:

A Cajun called Rene Lambascaux,

As a cook was a total fiasco.

His coals were too hot,

But his sauces were not.

Till, at last, he discovered Tabasco.

A dozen runners-up will each receive the commemorative bottle, the cookbook and the posters, mailed direct from Avery Island. Please clearly print your name and full postal address on each entry and send it to: The Gastropod, Weekend, the Independent, 40 City Road, London, EC1Y 2DB. The closing date is 7 June; the Gastropod's decision is final.

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    NGO and Community Development in Cambodia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...

    Sports coaching volunteer jobs

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Kaya Responsible Travel offer a variety of sp...

    Turtle Nesting and Coral Reef Conservation in Borneo

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a p...

    Elephant research project in Namibia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: If you have a passion for elephants and want ...

    Day In a Page

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit