Anybody remember the 70s? Remember eating "grown-up" food in the 70s?
I recall it as a time of exploration, a time of experimentation. I'd had a good, sane, creative diet at home as a kid, so my palate was ready to try things. And, oh, sophistication? It was a quest. Naturellement.
So there was this tiny, expensive, packaged cheese from France, called Boursin. It came in a little cardboard box. Inside was a circular slice of soft white dairy, wrapped in foil.
It smelled heavenly. Garlic, herbs. There was a black pepper version, too, but that was maybe too grown-up.
Such a treat, smeared on baguette rounds. Accompanied by a sip of dry white — oaky, because this was the 70s.
One day a young woman I knew — she was probably the first foodie I had ever met, and the word "foodie" wasn't even invented yet — showed me how to toss some American cream cheese into a blender, along with minced herbs and crushed garlic. (One was still allowed to crush garlic in the 70s.) Whiz, spin, mix. And out came a shapeless blob of Boursin, swear to god.
Very good. But, you know, pathetic, because she didn't actually buy the expensive tiny package. Doesn't buying it make it better? Homemade? The poor thing.
Not that I never tried making my own Boursin from time to time.
But I moved on. Too many interesting things were happening in the foodosphere. I don't think I've tasted any of that 70s cheese since — the 70s.
Nowadays there are some wonderful little homestead cheeses in my area. (I will not use the word "foodshed." Oops.) A soft, white, creamy-yet-flaky one... Very local. Perfect for a resurrection of this project.
No blender needed. Grate some green garlic (is one allowed to grate garlic?) and mince some chives. Tiny. Crack some black pepper as chunky as you can get it. Stir these aromatics into the cheese, with a pinch of salt. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Scrape the shapeless blob into a pretty bowl, surround it with slices of good bread, and pop open the Chardonnay.
Roberta Flack optional.