The Embassy of France, CNIEL, French umbrella organisation for the dairy industry, and the European Union co-hosted a European cheese pairing soirée as part of ‘The Cheeses of Europe’ campaign, organised and presented by the European Union and CNIEL, in the presence of chefs Xavier Thuret, best cheese monger of France; Sanjay Chowdhury, director, Dining Experience at QLA, New Delhi; and Laurent Damiens, CNIEL communications’ director.
Fifteen different cheeses were on offer during an evening dedicated to reveal the harmonious association of European cheese with Indian flavours. In this regard, chef Sanjay Chowdhury prepared fusion dishes combining Indian dishes and French cheese for a successful taste marriage. In addition to this, unprepared cheeses were also on display, presented by chef Thuret, the Ambassador of France for cheese.
Widely considered as the best cheese-producing countries globally, European Union Member States boast artisans and major producers that create the finest dairy products, consumed in a major part locally in Europe, although newer markets are increasingly emerging as consumers become more knowledgeable and adventurous with their palate, such as in the US, Japan, Korea or China.
In India, the import of cheese in 2014 was worth €6.5 million (INR 46.32 cr), showing a growth of 8.5 per cent as compared to 2013. This trend should be followed during the coming years, due to the development of a distribution network of gourmet products and hotel channels in Indian metro cities, and the increasing demand for new imported products by Indian consumers. Europe is the first supplier with 99 per cent of market share in India.