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French Cheese Tasting Workshop

About this workshop

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 a tasting for you.

How much cheese? 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. And because it wouldn’t be a proper cheese tasting without wine, we’ll be matching at least five 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.

Practical info

Price for the cheese & wine workshop: 110€ per person, including all tastings. This small-group tasting (not a walking tour) is conducted in English and will last around three hours. We’ll send you the address of the beautiful space in Saint-Germain where this seated workshop is held once you’ve made your reservation.

We offer this workshop on Saturdays beginning at 11:30am. You’ll be sampling enough cheese, bread and wine that this can double as lunch. Send us an email if your desired dates are sold out, if you’re looking for a date after April 2020, or if you have any other questions.


Terms & Conditions

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!

Cancellations Policy

A refund of 75% is available for those who cancel with at least 48 hours advance notice. For those who cancel with less than 48 hours notice, no refund will be made. Our tours run rain or shine. Clients who arrive more than 15 minutes late without calling or who don’t show up at all (no-shows) will be treated as last-minute cancellations without a refund.

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

Laurent Dubois

Laurent Dubois is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), the highest designation for a cheesemonger and affineur in France. Especially strong in their selection of aged Comté, brebis from the Pyrenées, and small production chèvres. In the caves below the shop, Dubois ages a few cheeses well past the point where other affineurs (and the AOC system) are willing to go – a Sainte-Maure de Tourraine at 100 days, for example, and an extra old Fourme d’Ambert. In-house creations like Roquefort layered with quince paste and Camembert stuffed with marscapone and apples macerated in Calvados make for the perfect dessert.

La Fromagerie Graindorge

Eugène Graindorge made his first livarot in 1910 and the rest, as they say, is history. Now in the capable hands of Thierry Graindorge, the 3rd generation fromager in the family, La Fromagerie Graindorge also produces pont l’évêque, camembert de Normandie, neufchâtel and le grain d’orge, all made using traditional methods. After a fire destroyed the fromagerie in 1999, a new facility was constructed, complete with a “Village Fromager,” which is both a museum and a place to view the cheese making and maturing process. Visits with an audio guide last about an hour.

Practical Information

Address: 42 rue du Général-Leclerc 14140 (Livarot)
Closed: Saturday afternoon and Sunday
Telephone: +33 02 31 48 20 00
Website
Facebook 

Additional Images

Cheese molds (photo: Jennifer Greco)
Pave d'Auge (photo: Jennifer Greco)
Pave d’Auge (photo: Jennifer Greco)

Much Ado About Munster: Cheese Names Do Matter

There are a lot of inflammatory stories in the media about how Europe is trying to bully the US in trade talks into “giving back” its cheese names. Should producers in Vermont be able to name their cheese after a French or Italian village? Are these names about civic pride, or do they indicate something more? As someone who regularly encounters Americans’ confusion about names during my weekly French cheese tours in Paris, I have some thoughts. First of all: this isn’t new.