Thursday, 21 May 2015

Guide to the top Cheese Shops of Paris

Paris, usually known as a classy, stylish city, also has a cheesy side—fromage, that is. France has over 300 different kinds of regional cheeses and for those who aren't able to travel around the whole country, the capital city offers a perfect sampling.
It is a joy stopping at a cheese shop for the delights behind the display cases or sitting down in a bar to enjoy an expert's pairing, before continuing on your way strolling along the boulevards and museums of Paris. The choices are as varied as the cheeses themselves.
Here is a sampler of some of the many places where one can experience cheese in Paris:

Several restaurants and wine bars put the emphasis on cheese, one of the more successful at achieving this is Pain, Vin, Fromage. Located in the Marais (3 rue Geoffroy l’Angevin) this quaint cheese bar is like a little mountain getaway in the middle of the city, this bar boasts the look of a mountain chalet, complete with cow bells hanging about, and a menu of fresh cheese and wine pairings. There are some 50 cheeses that are served in recipes such as fondue, raclette, tratiflette and toasted open sandwiches on three types of bread (sesame seeds, poppy seeds or plain).

If traditional alpine dishes of fondues, raclettes, tartiflettes and other melted cheese specialties are one of your firm favourites then Les Montagnards is the place to go. Located in the 1st arrondissement (58 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau) Les Montagnards has created a typical Rhone-Alps atmosphere with a red and white décor, old skies and sleds on the wall, for which to enjoy delicious fondues with three or four cheeses, raclettes, a hot box of mont d’or, or platters of cheeses and crudités to enjoy with these melted cheeses. It is a place of the classic melted cheeses

But if dinning on cheese is not your thing and you prefer to nibble Paris is full of master cheese seller and “affineurs” (cheese ripeners)

On Rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement you will find Androuet , (134, rue Mouffetard) a Parisian institution, it was founded in 1909 and has played an important role in the introducing of the different traditions and expert cheese making in the different regions of France to Parisians. This cheese house, which today has six shops, offers more then 200 types of French cheese, as well as a large selection of European specialties such as gruyere, manchego, stilton, parmesan, etc.

Quatrehomme (62, rue de Sevres) in the 7th arrondissement, is also a trustworthy spot in which to find cheese. Marie Quatrehomme (the first woman to have been voted Meilleur ouvrier de France in the category for cheese) has been supplying the best restaurants with top cheeses since 1953. She offers over 200 different cheeses, including hard-to-find specialties like comté aged for 4 years or 100-day old goat cheese.

La Ferme Saint-Aubin on the Ile St Louis is reputed to be the best affineurs cheese shop in Paris (76 rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile) the store buys cheeses from producers around France and then ages them in its cellar. The store also sells fine jams, ropes of chorizo, Bordeaux wines and fresh-made terrines.

Since 1990, Maryse and William Jounnault at Frommagerie Jouannault (39 rue de Bretagne) in the 8th district have welcomed you to a wide selection of cheeses. Their daughter Priscilla and her husband Nicolas select the best cheeses by travelling extensivley to meet their producers/ suppliers as often as possible to maintain the quality.
These cheese are then refined in their maturing cellar where Nicolas cares every day, with the greatest respect for traditional craftsmanship, while Priscilla loves to makes beautiful cheese platters and pairings.

One thing to notes is that when you wish to take your cheese selection home after your travels ask the cheese shops to vacuum pack your selections. Not only will this allow for the cheeses preservation but has the added bonus of no odor in your luggage!

Hopefully this has only wet your appetite for all things cheese!

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