Understanding the art of cheese tasting with a guided meditative tasting
The Le Cheese Geek guides offer cheese tastings because they fundamentally believe that only in doing a tasting can you appreciate and judge (in a positive or negative way) fully what is on your plate. Much more than just eating, tasting is about looking, smelling, feeling, touching, concentrating and taking the time to savor each moment. Our cheese geeks are dedicated to teaching you this art of tasting during their workshops and cheese classes. One of the activities that our guides offer is a meditative tasting in semi-darkness, in silence, letting yourself be guided.
Here’s the script, to be recorded or to be read out loud by someone else. You can try this exercise with any kind of food: a Goji berry, a nut, a piece of bread...or a piece of cheese!
“Place the berry in the palm of your hand, then close your eyes. I invite you to keep your eyes closed during the entire exercise. Feel the weight of the berry in the palm of your hand. Move it around in your hand and feel its texture, its temperature, its size, its roughness… Take the berry between the thumb and index finger of your other hand. Lightly roll it between your fingers. Bring it close to your ear while moving it around and listen to the sounds produced: crunching sounds or muffled sounds...
You can hold and touch it with your other fingers to see if that changes your perception. Now bring the berry to your nose and inhale, that is to say smell it by using small inhalations.
Can you smell its fragrance? What does it smells like? What does its smell make you think of? Does the berry’s scent bring an image to mind, a memory, a context in which you have already encountered this smell? Keeping it close to your nose, lightly squeeze the berry between your fingers allow its aromas to be released, then open it up below your nostrils and smell.
Then, put the grape in your mouth, but don’t bite into it. Leave it on your tongue for several seconds and observe the different sensations: size, texture, weight, flavor... Now, move it around inside your mouth, still without chewing it. And observe the sensations and flavors that appear depending on where it is in your mouth: at the tip or the back of the tongue, against your cheek or under your tongue. Next bite into the grape, just once, then pause once again to observe all of the sensations that emerge: do the flavors change and evolve? what new flavors are there? Bite into the grape again and notice. Now slowly chew the grape until it becomes pulp in your mouth. Once you have completely chewed the grape, swallow it. Take a moment to notice what sensations linger in your mouth after having swallowed the grape.
Take a deep breath and open your eyes. "