Finding cheese is becoming more difficult. Yes, France has somewhere around 350 cheeses, but I'm discovering that many of them aren't available outside of the region where they're produced.
At les Halles on Saturday I took my list to la fromagerie where I struggled to find some cheese I hadn't already tasted. I think the guy behind the counter thought I was a bit strange...he kept suggesting cheeses and I kept saying "no, I've already tried that.'' He finally asked what the deal was, so I told him about La Fête du Fromage. He chuckled a bit and asked for the address of Chez Loulou so he could have a look.
I ended up purchasing two fromages de chèvres, Laurentine and Rondin d'Alvignac, and one fromage de vache, Vache Fermier des Corbières.
The oval shaped Laurentine (it's a bit mangled from carrying it around all morning) is a raw, artisanal, goat's milk cheese that comes from the Midi-Pyrénées region. The little green leaves on the top are bay leaves, which infuse the cheese with a lovely, woodsy flavor. It was mild, creamy and slightly sweet, and oozing in the center. I love that! The Laurentine would be fantastic drizzled with some acacia honey.
The other chèvre, le Rondin d'Alvignac, is also a raw, artisanal cheese produced in the Midi-Pyrénées region. It had a hint of spice that lingered on the tongue and the texture was crumbly in the center. Another delicious chèvre that I would happily eat again. A dry white wine pairs well with either of these fromages de chèvres.
The Vache Fermier des Corbières is a locally made cheese from a small producer in the Corbières mountains. It was mild, creamy and smooth, with mushroom and earthy flavors. All around, a really nice cheese! I loved it with a glass of Corbières red wine.