Last time I was in Paris I made my first trip to Fromagerie Quatrehomme, one of the best and best-known cheese stores in Paris, but could only purchase one cheese because I was getting ready to return to New York. Located in the seventh arrondissement, near La Grande Épicerie at Bon Marché, this affineur's cheeses are often mentioned by name on the menus of upscale restaurants.
Yesterday, this time on the first day of my stay in Paris, I returned. As I was greeted by the complex odor of commingled earthy expressions of cow, goat and sheep, my jet lag vanished and I was able to focus on the job (really joy) at hand. I bought four cheeses and a wedge of fresh butter cut by wire from a slab (motte). When I asked for a camembert that would be perfect for dinner that day, the server applied her trained thumbs and nose to the task and rolled her eyes with pleasure when she found the right one (she was right). She also explained the difference between St Félicien and St Marcellin, which look the same in all respects but size: true, she said, but the larger St F is creamier as a result of its size. Still, the St M was delightfully light and creamy. I also bought a crottin-like chèvre and some Fourme d'Ambert, which were perfect specimens of their types.
People often tell me they envy my frequent trips to Paris. Mes amis, Fromagerie Quatrehomme is a good reason to do so.
Fromagerie Quatrehomme, 62 rue de Sèvre, 75007 Paris (Métro Duroc or Vaneau).