Cervelle de Canut (Silk Weavers Brain) – French Recipe

Before you all leave this page in total disgust at the prospect of being made to eat a silk weavers cerebral cortex, let me tell you that ‘cervelle de canut’, is a nonthreatening cheese and herb spread named for the famed silk workers of Lyon in the mid-18oo’s;

Pascal, the head chef at Terroir, insisted that ‘cervelle de canut’ was a tribute to the talented ‘canut’ of Lyon who diligently packed this cheesy spread on their way to  the silk factories. While others tell me its name was a cruel joke amongst the bourgeois Lyonnaise, who assumed the cheesy dip shared a consistency with the gray matter of their silk-working class.

Whichever story is to be believed this creamy dip is delicious and a happy change from the usual suspects we are often left to dip our crudités in. Served with some soldiers of granary bread or perhaps a bundle of plump radishes it is a totally French treat and a perfect way to start any meal.



  1. Drain the fromage blanc and place it, along with the white wine vinegar, crème fraiche, and walnut oil into a deep mixing bowl or blender.
  2. Process the cheese until it is smooth and completely blended into a medium consistency.
  3. Add the shallots, chives, chervil, tarragon, salt and pepper to the mixture and blend or stir until all the ingredients are incorporated into the cheese.
  4. Refrigerate the cheese for 2 to 3 hours before serving and serve garnished with a pinch of fresh chives and a drizzle of walnut oil.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 at 06:07 and is filed under A to Z of London Food, A to Z Recipe, French Recipes, Recipes, World Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

1 comment

  1. Nice article, thanks for the information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>