I was in France last week working in "the vendage"...
What an incredible experience! I was in a domain where we worked and they gave us food every day... so imagine, it was homemade food every meal! Yummi!!
I could observe how french people eat... at least in this region where I was: Odenas, north Lyon (lovely views!). They use a lot of fromage, as I knew ;), butter, cream, mustard, mayonnaise and white wine. So a lot of dairy products as you can see and different kind of sauces too.
Even in the salads they used a vinaigrette made by mustard and/or mayonnaise (in ten days that I was there, I didn't eat salad dressed just by olive oil. What surprise me...).
I wanted to show you Tartiflette. It comes from Saboya, a french region next to Lyon (approx.). The recipe was created in 1980 and made public by the inter-trade union of reblochon.
What is "reblochon"?
It is the kind of cheese to cook Tartiflette. So you can observe that it's not a traditional recipe!
So take a look: Tartiflette is made by reblochon cheese, cooked potatoes, bacon, cream, black pepper, sometimes they use some white wine (in my opinion, it tasted so well). And it goes directly to the oven to cook au gratin.
It is a delicious meal, really. I think that if you have a well balanced diet you can eat sometimes tartiflette. It's a greasy and caloric plate that's why I think you can eat it sometime, not every week.
Besides, you should know that cheese contains high protein value: more mature, more proteins contains. The reblochon cheese maturing is not as long as other types of cheese, it's just 6-8 weeks, but even cheese is considered a protein product. The protein present in it is casein. Proteins are made by amino acids. These are the part that our body uses and some of them are more useful than others (I explain it so simplify. More useful because our body cannot obtain if it's not through the diet). So casein is made by these kind of amino acids more useful.
And, as I guess you know, cheese is rich in calcium too, as other dairy products.
In conclusion... I invite you to taste Tartiflette!
I will cook it some day, to remember my days in the vendage and specially to remember the people I've met there, they made the experience great!!
Merci beaucoup to them!!