The easiest of all meal-endings perhaps is fruit with cheese and this, too, is in the best of taste. Fruit with cheese is generally served when there is no other dessert.
The fruits may include pears (there is a time-worn admonition in Italy that “you should never tell the peasant how good pears are with cheese or he’ll rob you out of both”), apples, grapes, oranges, peaches, black cherries, and so on.
The cheeses may include soft running cheeses, such as Brie, Camembert, Boursin, and Crèma Danica; soft but firm cheeses, such as Port du Salut, fontina, Muenster, Gruyère, Appenzell, and Danish esrom; and the blue cheeses.
The cheeses are preferably served with a long, crusty loaf of French or Italian bread, although many people enjoy English water biscuits or assorted crackers. It is traditional in France to serve cheese with pats of butter.
© 1969 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.