European Cheese

I searched through a bunch of posts and didn’t find anything that really hit what I was looking for. I did see Freemott’s thread and responded to that, so worst case scenario, he’ll pick up some Mt. Tam. So, new thread.

Have moved to Paris and am now wallowing in more cheese than I could imagine… and I have a healthy imagination.

Would love recommendations from the crowd on what I should try, now that I’m here. I’ll do my best to check back in when I try new things, as well. I don’t know that I have a specific profile, outside of I enjoy just about everything. Love Roquefort, probably more than bleus, and my god, I’ve accepted 36 month aged comte into my heart. Also a fan of triple creams, with today’s Perail des Cabasses just nailing it.

And yes, I’m the guy that ran a block in-between conference calls to grab lunch to take back to the hotel.

I’d eat some thinly shaved mimolette pictured above.

I can’t make out a ton of others though.

it’s not French, but if you love comte, you should try tete du Moine.

I’m a fan of French Vacherin

Mimolette is one of my favorites. Almost threw up in my mouth when I saw magnified pictures of how it’s made… but it is delicious.

Mimolette was de Gaulle’s favorite.

“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” ~ Charles de Gaulle

Go to Barthélémy, to start. 51 Rue de Grenelle, 75007.

What is the french analog to Harbison? I would try to find some of that!

The only thing better than having 3 yr comte is having 1, 2, and 3!

There’s a great very soft one, almost liquid, that’s only available for a short time in winter–see if I can find the name.

I have know idea what kind of cheeses you like (washed rind vs. bloomy rind; cow vs. sheep vs. goat; etc.) so I’ll make a few suggestions by category.

Bloomy rind

  • Brie de Meaux (cow). If you’ve never had it, you’ve never really had brie.
  • Chaource (cow). Melt in your mouth.
  • Brie de Melun (cow). More pungent than Brie de Meaux.
  • Pierre Robert (cow). My favorite triple cream.

Washed rind

  • Epoisses de Bourgogne (cow). Rich, delicious, very pungent.
  • Pont-l’Eveque (cow). Buttery, mild, good for dessert.
  • Reblochon de Savoie (cow). Nutty, some pungency.

Hard or semi-hard

  • Ossau-Iraty (sheep). Creamy, nutty, semi-hard.
  • Laguiole (cow). Closest thing in France to an English cheddar, reminds me of Lincolnshire Poacher.
  • Abondance (cow). Firm, slightly grainy, buttery, earthy aromas.
  • Mimolette (cow). Similar to aged Gouda.


  • Bleu d’Auvergne (cow). My favorite French bleu. Less salty and creamier than Roquefort.
  • Bleu du Bocage (goat). Delicate earthiness.


  • Saint-Maure de Touraine. Creamy when young, crumbly as it ages, tangy.
  • Crottin de Chavignol. Pair with Sancerre. Classic.

This could go on forever…

Swiss Vacherin Mont d’Or. French Mont d’Or is good, but not as great.

Be on the lookout for 48 month around the holidays…

This could go on forever…
I have another day of calls tomorrow, holed up in a hotel, so it just might. I’ve got a good hour for lunch, so I’ll stretch to the bakery I found, as well.

Where is your hotel?

Totally agree! Though the Swiss version is generally thermized, and some have criticized my preference for that reason, saying it could not possibly be as good if it’s not raw.

16th, Place de Mexico. 5 min walk NW of Trocadero, can walk out the front door and see it dead center, with the Eifel Tower in a straight line behind it. Two blocks off of Rue de Pompe, which has a bunch of great single markets (fishmonger, produce, etc.) and restaurants. Office is on the SE side of the city and the kids will be going to school in the 16th, which is why I’m here and not over at Vendome.

Cheese store I hit today, fwiw, is called Androuet. I believe it’s part of a chain. Cabinet above was temp controlled and had a humidifier. Pretty crazy, but great stuff.

Androuet has always been the best known and respected cheesemonger in Paris. They buy young cheese and age it in their caves.

A cheese, IMO, to look for there is Soumaintrain. A cousin of epoisses, except it is washed in a milder solution than epoisses is (marc de bourgogne) and is not as stinky/pungent, while preserving all that is great about epoisses. Most of the epoisses producers make a soumaintrain from the same milk, etc. The shape is different. Bertheau makes a terrific one; as does Gaugry. Gaugry is the only producer of the epoisses family of cheese which still makes raw milke (“lait cru”) versions of some of its cheeses; I know they do for epoisses…two versions, including a small, two portion version. You should try one of the raw milk ones if you can; personally, I don’t think that much is lost with “thermalisee” cheese(essentially pasteurization light) made from “lait entiere” (whole, not raw) milk. And, it allows it to be sold in the US. Just got some soumaintrain Bertheau “muled” from Zabar’s yesterday.


I’m eating a cheese called Bethmale right now, from Herve Mons. A medium firm slicing cheese, this stuff is fabulous, tons of earthy/mushroomy flavor.

Not thermalized for sale in Europe. Or by certain merchants in the US :slight_smile:

Perail des brebis, Beaufort, in addition to those mentioned above( StMaure, vieux Comte, Eppoisses and others)

I’ve been rested incredibly rudely at Bartholomey twice/and even if I wasn’t, I prefer Marie Cantin (12 Rue camps de Mars). There’s a fun one on Ile St Louis as well (I forget it’s name but there is only one I think)