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Herve Mons Cheeses at Bar a Vin.
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Bar a Vin
17A Queensferry St,,
0131 226 1890
You can’t con your tastebuds

Artisan, organic, ethical, natural, local; it’s a complex foody matrix but no matter how worthy a particular food, if it lacks flavour it’s going to take more effort to convince folk to eat it. 

Artisan foods however, are usually made by small producers and influenced by local factors like weather and terroir which inevitably lend unique flavour. 

By contrast, foods made by mega corporations are ruled by economies of scale and profit. This results in cheap ingredients, processing and limited diversity in terms of taste. 

To illustrate this we can take one currently controversial food, cheese. 

Controversial because artisan cheesemaker Errington Cheese has recently been vindicated in court of failing to comply with legal standards of food hygiene in relation to the E coli outbreak in 2016. Cheeses are currently being held by South Lanarkshire Council and a FAFA (Food Alert For Action)  remains in place as we go to press. 

This war of attrition being waged by FSS against Errington could have devastating consequences for artisan food and drink producers. The FSS appear to believe that bacteria free food is risk free food. In fact many food scares in recent times have been the consequence of mass production. 

I am discussing this in Bar du Vin with Proprietor Fred Berkmiller, staff member Imaman and Phillipe who runs L’Art du Vin. We have seven goats cheeses in front of us from Herve Mons, world renowned affineur and custodian of artisan cheese producers. 

Fred explains how each cheese is a living thing and the taste changes constantly. Cheeses arrive on a Thursday to Bar a Vin and the taste of for example a Chabichou (Alpine) can differ from one week to the next and even, like wine, (Phillipe chips in) throughout a meal.

A cheese’s flavour depends ultimately on the quality the milk along with the absence of pasteurization leaving bacteria which is where the flavour magic happens. 
Our various goats cheeses are tangy, salty, buttery, herby, peppery, mushroomy, funky, fruity, earthy and tannic. You won’t get this diversity of taste from supermarket cheeses where animals have been fed on cereal, kept indoors and the milk pasteurized. 

And what this all means for you dear readers is that if you visit Bar a Vin you can taste some of the best cheese in the world. 

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