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The French Cheese Explosion

If you’ve ever wondered why there are more than 500 different cheeses in France, how different cheeses are produced (what accounts for their texture, color, and smell?), why French cheesemakers use raw unpasteurized milk in their cheese, what the impact of seasonality and aging are on cheese, and how locals typically enjoy cheese in restaurants and at home… this is the tasting for you.

We’ll visit a cheese shop (or rather, the cheese shop – our favorite one in the world) to talk about the art of sourcing and aging artisanal cheese in France. You’ll learn how to select and order cheese in a fromagerie, and you’ll get to weigh in on what we’ll be tasting together.

How much cheese will we taste? It depends on the day, but we usually go for at least 10 different cheeses, representing a wide variety of French regions and cheesemaking styles. We’ll bring these to a tasting room in one of the oldest and most charming buildings in Paris and lay out our bounty with baskets of bread.

And because it wouldn’t be a proper cheese tasting without wine, we’ll be matching many different French wines with our fromage and discussing principles for pairing cheese & wine that you can try on your own. You’ll leave with a solid understanding of some of the major categories and appellations of French cheese and wine, and you’ll have so much fun that it won’t feel like learning. Because this tasting takes place around noon, this “trinity of the French table” (cheese, bread & wine) can definitely double as lunch.

AVAILABILITY

We generally schedule the French Cheese Explosion on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and only 1-2 months in advance. Click on a date within the calendar to see which tours we’re offering that day (all our routes are reflected on this calendar, not only the French Cheese Explosion). If you want to be notified when we add sessions during the month that you’re traveling, you can send us an email.

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A SAMPLING OF WHAT WE MIGHT TASTE

Banon de Banon
Runny goat cheeses, in season
Extra creamy cows' milk cheeses
Extra creamy cows’ milk cheeses
For the daring: pungent washed rind cheeses
For the daring: pungent washed rind cheeses from the monastic tradition
Crumbly cow's milk cheeses from central France
Crumbly, tangy cow’s milk cheeses from central France
Nutty and sharp cows’ milk cheeses, carefully aged for many years
A selection of blue cheeses. They're all so different!
A selection of blue cheeses. They’re all so different!

PRICE & PRACTICAL DETAILS

This tasting is capped at eight guests, and tickets are priced at €130 per person, including very generous tastings from the most amazing (and expensive) cheese shop in Paris. 

The tasting is led in English by a passionate cheese expert and lasts approximately 3 hours. You can plan to walk and stand for approximately 1 hour, with a seated tasting for the remainder of the time. Please let us know about any mobility issues in advance by sending an email to parisbymouthtours@gmail.com

We’ll send you the exact meeting point upon booking, but you can plan to finish near the Saint-Paul subway stop. 

We’ll be tasting wine along with our cheese and bread while seated in a beautiful wine cellar. Water will also be available. Discounts are unfortunately not available on small group tours for those who don’t drink wine, because we’re opening bottles whether you indulge or not. 

ABOUT THIS NEIGHBORHOOD

The southern Marais contains a lively Jewish quarter and is home to a large number of 16th century mansions, many of which have been converted into museums. It’s also home to many art galleries, a large LGBTQ community and world class shopping. We’ll be shopping for cheese in this neighborhood, and then bringing it to a tasting space inside of one of the oldest and most charming buildings in Paris. 

CANCELLATIONS POLICY

Refunds are available for those who cancel with at least 48 hours notice minus a €20 cancellation fee per ticket. No refunds or changes are allowed within 48 hours of your tour. Clients who arrive more than ten minutes late without calling or not at all (no-shows) will be treated as cancellations with no refund. Our tours run rain or shine.

Clients who are booking tours within 24 hours of their arrival in Paris should be aware that we do not offer refunds in the case of delayed flights (because this is such a common occurrence).

Questions? Send an email to parisbymouthtours@gmail.com

16 thoughts on “The French Cheese Explosion”

  1. Claudia Drucker Berg

    Just leaving Paris after a first time trip.
    My hubby and I would be so interested in this class! We were at a stunning cheese shop in the Marais – might be the same one (?) if you’ve a mailing list we want to be on it!
    Others bring home perfume, clothing… we have a load of vacuum -packed cheese in our suit cases!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed the Cheese Explosion class with Jennifer in November. It was a wonderful way to learn about how cheese is made, aged, and served. Thanks Jennifer!

  3. Story. The first time we came to Paris when we were in school we arrived on a Sunday and it seemed as if every restaurant was closed. We were directed to a place called Androuet. We had no idea that all they served was cheese. What a treat!

  4. Hi Kay! We usually add the dates for our French Cheese Explosion about 2 months in advance. You can send us an email at parisbymouthtours@gmail.com and we’ll tag it to reply as soon as those August dates are posted. One note, though – we usually host these on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so it would be more likely to be August 29 and/or 30. Hope to see you then!

  5. Hi,
    Looking for dates on August 31, 2023 for the “The French Cheese Explosion. Will you be booking dates for this tour?
    Thank you!

  6. Hi-We will be in Paris for June 1-8 and have taken the cheese course twice 🙂
    Are there any dates planned for our trip duration?

    Thanks !
    Laurie Brawer

  7. I attended the 23 April Workshop hosted by Meg. Absolutely brilliant insights into cheese and wine matching and great value. Meg was a very engaging and knowledgeable host and was happy to pass on lots of insights into French food and wine culture. She also exceeded her job description by getting me a booking at a restaurant I wanted to try on my last night in Paris! This workshop is not to be missed.

  8. On a fantastic Day in Aligre my husband and I were fortunate enough to experience the amazing Meg, food writer and master of the fromage world! Our epicurean egos were dazzled, our palates satiated, thirsts quenched. Meg imparted a wealth of knowledge with a twist. Passionately unscripted with a joyful spirit, our “Tour de Fromage” host led us on a 3.5 hour decadent journey thru the land of Cheeeeeeese. It was one of those experiences we wish we could rewind and relive again and again. We explored 20 unique, hand selected cheeses & were fortunate enough to accompany Meg to a nearby market while she chose the final few. Equally incredible were the Wine pairings. Meg cleverly selected varietals from various regions including Muscadet, Monlouis-sur-Loire and Sancerre Rouge from the Loire Valley. Cairanne from the Southern Rhone and Banyuls from Roussillon. It’s been 9 months since our visit with Meg’s “Tour de Fromage” and remains a memory we cherish.

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