English cheese on the menu at Versailles banquet for King Charles

PARIS (Reuters) – France, a country that prides itself on its many fine cheeses, has honoured a British blue cheese by placing it on the menu for a banquet for Britain’s King Charles at the Palace of Versailles on Wednesday.

French President Emmanuel Macron will host Charles and his wife Queen Camilla during their three-day visit to France, with the state dinner in the famed Hall of Mirrors at the former French royal palace a particular highlight.

The menu will feature blue lobster, Bresse French poultry with mushroom gratin, and a selection of French and English cheeses, including Comte from France, and Stichelton from Britain, according to Macron’s office.

“Contrary to the often-held view that you can’t find any decent food in England, it’s totally untrue, you can find great products there and especially great cheese,” Alsatian cheesemonger Bernard Antony, who picked the cheese selection for the royal dinner, told L’Alsace newspaper.

Stichelton is a blue cheese similar to Stilton, except that it does not use pasteurised milk. The name comes from an ancient form of the name of Stilton village in Cambridgeshire, England.

It was named one of the world’s top five cheeses by French chef Anne-Sophie Pic, who is in charge of the lobster and crab starters at the state dinner.

“I love this cheese. I think it’s a beauty. It’s very English, you only find it there,” Pic told Reuters.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; writing by Michel Rose; editing by Alexandra Hudson)