When talk­ing about cheese it is hard not to keep bring­ing up the French, but we must give cred­it where cred­it is due. Not only do the French have their offi­cial 360 cheeses but they also have an infi­nite num­ber of ideas about what to do with cheese. One of the best uses of cheese is in some­thing called alig­ot, a dish found in the Aubrac region of the Cevennes—there's some­thing about moun­tains that brings up cheese genius. Moun­tains are like the Sil­i­con Val­ley of the cheese world—home to entre­pre­neurs and vision­ar­ies, peo­ple not afraid to exper­i­ment. In any case, alig­ot fea­tures a nice moun­tain cheese called can­tal. Essen­tial­ly it's mashed pota­toes with cheese, but it tastes like so much more than that. Per­haps because the recipe calls for stir­ring the cheese into the pota­toes con­tin­u­ous­ly for 40 min­utes in the same direc­tion, so as not to break the strings of cheese. Alig­ot is great to eat on a cold day. It is not so great to eat right before climb­ing a very big hill on a bicycle.