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The Perfect Cheese Plate
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Before The Real Housewives, there was Madame Bovary. For the uninitiated, the fictional protagonist of French writer Gustave Flaubert's debut novel of the same name is a 19th-century beauty who turned to shopping sprees, operas, and lavish dinner parties to escape her unhappy marriage. And this month, director Sophie Barthes brings the iconic femme fatale to the silver screen in Madame Bovary, with Mia Wasikowska playing the title role. To celebrate the release, we solicited a decidedly French (and easy) recipe from award-winning food writer Susan Hermann Loomis: a classic cheese plate.

In a French Kitchen book
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As owner of the Rouen-based cooking school in France, On Rue Tatin, Loomis knows a thing or two about traditional European cuisine. Now, she's taking her expertise stateside with her latest cookbook, In a French Kitchen ($20, amazon.com), which includes 85 tasty how-tos from succulent beef cheeks to this crowd-pleasing cheese plate (pictured above) that even Madame herself would approve of. Read on for her expert cheese plate tutorial. Bon appétit!

The Perfect Cheese Tray


1 wedge soft goat cheese
1 wedge Camembert-style cheese (try Pont-l'Évêque, Brie, or Livarot)
1 wedge Comté cheese
1 wedge Roquefort or Bleu d'Auvergne blue cheese

Tasting Order

Always begin with the mildest cheese and end with blue, or whichever cheese has the most intense flavor.

Check out the trailer for Madame Bovary below, and make sure to catch the movie, in theaters now.