April 2, 2011

La Fête du Fromage - Lou Sotch and Demi-Lune de Chèvre

Lou Sotch


This week I'm sharing not just one, but two disappointing cheeses from the highly respected fromagerie in Paris, Androuët.

The first, Lou Sotch, is an unpasteurized ewe's milk cheese from Aveyron. The description reads: creamy and smooth. This one was not creamy, nor was it smooth. It had a hard and flaky texture and the flavor was extremely sharp and prickly.
It was still edible, but only just.

The second photo is Demi-Lune de Chèvre. This is supposed to be a fresh, young fromage de chèvre. "L'affinage de ce fromage donne une pâte douce et crémeuse."*
Well, this one was like eating sand; crumbly, grainy and hard. Too hard.
It was dry and tacky. It wasn't nice.

In my opinion, both of these cheeses were past their prime and should not have been sold.
I know, I know, caveat emptor.
Call me crazy, but I believe that a Maître Fromager** should educate his or her staff on the cheeses sold in the shop and they should have enough knowledge to recognize when a cheese is practically inedible.

The next time I'm in Paris I will go back to Androuët. But I will be very careful before purchasing.

*The maturing of this cheese creates a smooth, creamy interior.
**Master Cheese Expert  (a difficult title to translate) Pin It


spacedlaw said...

Given the reputation of Androuet (and the price of their cheese) this is a major scandal.

Anonymous said...

Bummer. Luckily, I know of several other cheese shops in my new neighborhood, one of which is just around the corner and you can smell it even when it's closed. :)

Jennifer said...

It was disappointing, but with so many stores in Paris and in many other countries, maybe they've let standards slip?

It was a bummer!
So you'll practically be neighbors of Fromagerie Laurent Dubois when you move to the left bank, you lucky girl!

Quebec Cheesehound said...

How unfortunate. Have you had the pleasure of visiting Marie Quatrehomme in Paris - the best! That being said, I would put Quebec cheeses (especially those from the Charlevoix region) up against the very best French cheeses any day! But oh for a spring walk along the Canal du Midi!

Betty Carlson said...

I've never heard of Lou Sotch, but have experienced a number of Pérails past their prime, and it's not pretty.

Sorry you were disappointed by an cheese from Aveyron!

Ann said...

I've been hoodwinked by a fancy (and renowned) cheese shop before -- it's an awful feeling. I often wonder if it was because I look like an unsuspecting tourist.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Such a shame Loulou ... Not often you come a cross a bad cheese .. but to get two . not good.

Thanks for visiting my blog today .. Oh yes all those French cheeses at Oxford Market .. very inviting :-)

Jennifer said...

Quebec Cheesehound
Yes, I've been to Marie Quatrehomme. Great Fromagerie.
Would love the opportunity to try Quebec cheeses one day. I've read that there are some great ones!

It wasn't Aveyron's fault. :)

I wondered that too. "she's just here on vacation so we can sell her crap because she doesn't know any better and she'll never be back anyway."

I would have understood if had just been one...but two! Ouch!

David said...

Not to be too graphic, but that second one looks like of like the underside of my big toe. And since I don't imagine that tastes very good, that might account for the bad flavor of the cheese, too?

Jennifer said...

Have you considered seeing a doctor about that toe?


Domaines & Terroirs said...

Hi, this is indeed unfortunate because those two cheeses, when properly maintained are just like they are described. Androuet has high standards to maintain considering their history. I am certain that if you contacted Stephane Blohorn, the owner, with the appropriate info, he would follow up on this disappointing service and make sure it is resolved so Monsieur Androuet doesn't turn in his grave! - debbi

Jennifer said...

That is a good suggestion, however the cheeses were purchased last year (I just didn't write about them until this week) and I think it is much too late for me to say anything.
I'll go back to Androuët the next time I'm in Paris, and if these two cheeses are available and look like they are in their prime, I will buy them again so I can taste them properly.

deedee said...

Eeww, now I have David's toe image in my head.

Jennifer said...

I know! *shudder*

Deborah Lawrenson said...

The cheese may have disappointed, but the photos of it are lovely! I've just discovered your blog through Keith at A Taste of Garlic - but I can't find a follow list (maybe you don't have one).

I will put you on my blog list, though, if that's OK.

Jennifer said...

Your photos are lovely too! (and some of the scenes are strangely familiar) :)

I have a Link List on the top of the blog, just under the header photo. I've added your blog as well.

Forest said...

nothing worse than getting a bad cheese. I'm still trying to get over a bad experience with one of the cheese shops in my neighborhood. Everytime i head back in its direction i remember that bad vieille mimolette incident. I love vieille mimolette and bought some there. When i took a bite at home it had this HORRIBLE taste. i looked at it closer and there was some kind of discoloration or growth on the cheese. And, that why - like you said - the staff should be educated. Especially when you're buying cheese that isn't cheap! They should have known better than to sell me cheese that had something wrong with it. i'm no cheese-ologist myself, so i don't expect myself to necessarily notice. But they should. I suddenly feel like I'm ranting on way more than i need to about this experience....

Jennifer said...

No, good cheese from a good (and well known) fromagerie is not cheap. Sorry to hear about your Mimolette vieille. And I understand why you've never been back.
If there was discoloration/growth on the cheese, they definitely should have noticed.
Thanks for sharing your experience!

Jennifer said...

Thank you very much for the invitation. I will consider it and let you know what I decide.