Tag Archives: cheese

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.

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Julhès

In the heart of the colorful rue Faubourg Saint-Denis, this full service traiteur has an excellent cheese department, and boasts an impressive collection of Champagnes, whiskies, and other spirits.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mimolette on Lockdown

American fans of the famed French cheese Mimolette are mite-y pissed off that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has temporarily banned the favorite cheese of Charles de Gaulle.

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