Cheese Purveyor to the Stars

The Experienced Travelers promised our faithful Food-eurs and Food-ettes a taste of Paris, and it’s time we delivered. Uncork  your favourite vintage and keep an aged wedge near at hand, because you’ll need both by the end of this post.

As many of you know, Nurse and I often rent an apartment off the rue de Champs de Mars. This gives us the thrill of food shopping in the rue Cler and the deep satisfaction of Nurse’s talents in our kitchen – compounded by the Found Money from “eating in” that we can fritter away later.

Naturally we visited the cheese  store on the corner, lured by the dazzling window display of wedges and rounds. Who knew that our corner shop was the world-renown Marie-Anne Cantin fromager de tradition Affineur.

Cantin supplies the best Paris hotels and aristocratic tables. When the Sarkozys entertain at the Élysée Palace, Carla rings up Cantin. Surely this tenuous thread is the closest the ETs have come to the ermine cloak of power. Can the Légion d’ honneur be far behind? Mme. Cantin’s father opened the shop in 1950 and it is from him that she learned the art of cheese-making. She ages her own delicacies in one of her seven caves, and sources others from small farms. Mme.’s website advises that the process begins with the hay or grass that a happy cow, goat or ewe grazes, and finishes in caves, aging from a few weeks to two years for a beaufort or comté. (We may have cheeses aging that long in the fridge. Does that count?)

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