November 16 2013
It happens fairly often in my Paris lifestyle that I am faced with moments when I need spectacularly good cheese. I'm not talking just good, average or passable cheese. I'm talking something that would be the creme de la creme.
Such moments have been finding an aged Comte to accompany a passito wine made by the French model and actress Carole Bouquet, knowing that she would also be there for the lunch. (I went to the Quatre-Hommes on rue du Poteau.)
I still remember the first time I made dinner for a very eligible Parisian gentleman shortly after arriving here many moons ago. I so badly wanted everything to be perfect, I went all out on the cheese. (La Fromagerie du Pere Lachaise, in this case.)
This summer, I was on flirting terms with the cheesemonger at the Grande Epicerie. Nothing actually happened between us beyond the exchange of some wine for truffle-gouda, but the access to cheese not normally on sale was exciting. More recently, I find myself bumping into hair-buddy Xavier Thuret (MOF 2007) at tastings. He was able to smuggle me some stonking Beaufort to accompany an equally spectacular En Spoiss 2006 from Domaine Stephane Tissot.
Today was another one of these occasions. I am expecting 15 people for a special wine tasting. We are going to be bringing out the big guns (Italians predominantly: Barolo, Brunello and Radikon, with a couple of big names in eastern-European wine too) so, naturally, I needed cheese that could rise to the occasion.
The Ferme Saint Hubert de Paris has only been in its current location in the 9th arrondissement for a few years but its reputation from its days on the rue Vignon (8e) has stood the test of time. Paulette and Henry Voy are true cheesemongers, you see. Fromager-Affineur means that they buy cheese from the very best producers and age it in the cellars until it is perfectly ripe and at its pinnacle. No need to ask what's good today, everything will be perfect and with around 200 different cheeses on offer, you won't be short of choice either. There are very few cheese shops with such passion.
Prices may seem hefty but, trust me, they're very reasonable for the quality. I left with a large hunk of 10-11 month Comte, a log of mouldy goat (Saint-Maure), a pound of Livarot and a slice of Tomme au Marc and it didn't set me back nearly as much as I had feared. (20 euros for the kilo of young Comte, for example.)
Before I get too carried away with the cheese, I should also mention that the shelves are stocked with some of the very best other delicacies that France has to offer: Bordier butter, boudin noir from Christian Parra, conserves from Anne Rozes... This is a true address to cherish.
36, rue Rochechouart, 75009
Open Monday - Saturday, from 9am - 8.30pm.