May 12, 2010

La Fête du Fromage - Clacbitou

I managed to visit six cheese shops in six days while in Paris, a personal best.
I was in cheese heaven.  My friends were in cheese hell.

We would walk into a Fromagerie and within one minute of breathing in the aroma of ripening cheese their faces would kind of twist up and this look of dismay would appear, then they would make their apologies and quickly retreat.  There was always a café nearby where they could sit and have a coffee, so they were pretty patient with me.
(Funny, because I find the aroma of ripening cheese a wonderful thing.  Go figure.)

Last year I was told about a little Fromagerie in the 11th called Autour du Fromage, which happened to be just down the road from where we were staying.  On our first day I casually led the group in its direction under the assurance that we were heading toward the Marais - which we were, I just had a couple of stops to make along the way.  I did a lot of our navigating around the city, so figured that working my cheese hunting agenda into our outings every so often wasn't too unreasonable.

Inside I found Clacbitou, a férmier goat cheese from Burgundy.  I took it back to the apartment and did a solo tasting as none of my cheeseophobe friends would get near it.  Oh well, more for me!
Clacbitou has a slight aroma of hay and earth, a very fine, chalky texture and a dense, chewy mouthfeel.  The flavors are mildly goaty, salty and mushroomy, with hints of nuts and slightly tangy.
All around a good cheese, just not the best fromage de chèvre I've ever had.  I prefer its Bourgogne cousin, Charolais, which has a similar texture but a more balanced, sweeter flavor.  It was also reminiscent of Chabichou du Poitou, which I also prefer.

White wines such as Sancerre or a Bourgogne aligoté are good pairings.

The woman at Autour du Fromage was chatty and very helpful, so if you're in Paris and are looking for a great little Fromagerie, please check this place out.

Autour du Fromage
120 Rue de Charonne
75011 Paris
01 43 71 58 48
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Kristal said...

I don't think life without cheese is possible. As for the cheese smell, that is the smell of paradise1 :)

Andi said...

Wow, I'd go cheese hunting with you any day!

Jennifer said...

No, it wouldn't be possible! :)

Sounds like fun! When should we go?

Anonymous said...

Glad you didn't leave Paris empty-handed in the cheese department!

emiglia said...

Next time you're in Paris, try my favorite fromager: Lefebvre. It's on 229, Rue de Charenton, near Bercy. Their Camembert au Calva is INCREDIBLE. And if you're into the strong ones, the Banon is one of the best.

Jennifer said...

There's no way I would have. No way!

Thanks for the cheese shop recommendation! I'll make a note of it.

Is the camembert with Calvados like this one?
or like this one?
If not, then I will have to try!

Banon is one of my favorites. It has such a wonderful, heady flavor.