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Stinky French Cheese: Our Top 8 and Where to Find Them in Paris

Best Pungent French Cheese and Cheese Shops in Paris

It was French President Charles de Gaulle who famously said, “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” That was in 1962. Today there are nearly 400 distinct cheeses in France, and discussing and eating them is a national pastime. Anyway you slice it, this is the land of fromage and it is a source of regional pride. Just like with wine, many varieties have their own AOC, or Appellation d’origine contrôlée. Roquefort only comes from Roquefort and it must adhere to strict regulations to earn the name. The types of cheese in France are as varied as the landscapes, and while it may seem like a love of pungent cheese is in the blood of the French, I believe it’s an acquired taste. Rather than going straight for the Brie on your next trip to Paris, push your palate by trying one of the following stinky cheeses and do as the French do: savor it after your meal, preferably with a digestif.

Best Pungent French Cheese and Cheese Shops in Paris

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

Paris Souvenirs: What You Shouldn’t Leave France Without

Souvenirs from ParisImages courtesy of Marvin Shaouni, Cesarastudilo, Quinn.Anya

Just like any other major city, Paris has its fair share of kitschy souvenirs on offer. Indeed, the word souvenir itself is French. And I’ll be the first to admit that I still have the mini Eiffel tower that my best friend brought back for me years ago. In recent trips, however, I haven’t looked twice at the knickknacks on display all over the city. Instead, when the time comes for me to return home from Paris – as it did earlier this month – my suitcase is packed with a different species of souvenirs to enjoy back on American soil. And they basically all have to do with food.

Sel de GuerandeSel de Guérande – Fritish

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Posted in Food, Shopping | 15 Comments »

Une Lichette de Beaufort

Beaufort Slice of Beaufort, much like the lichette sliced by my fromager.
Photo courtesy of

On my last trip to Paris, I was on a mission to try as many new cheeses as possible. The problem, though, was that I was there alone; and more often than not, I was buying cheeses that I would be finishing myself. So in an effort to minimize the size of my waistline, each time I would purchase a new cheese at the fromagerie I would ask for only a small bit. A few days before leaving, I made a trip to the Pascal Beillevaire shop on the rue des Moines, near our Pilleux studio (where I was staying), to pick up a few new favorites. As I explained that I wanted just “un tout petit peu” (very little bit) of Beaufort, the fromager kindly replied: “Une lichette, alors?

Une lichette indeed! It was a word I had heard recently for the first time, and was exactly what I wanted. According to my Larousse Poche French dictionary, une lichette is a familiar term for a small quantity of a particular food. Since that trip to the Fromagerie Pascal Beillevaire – which, incidentally, has wonderful products and several locations throughout Paris – lichette has become one of my favorite words, and I find it much more fun to use than morceau (morsel), tranche fine (thin slice), or any other term indicating small quantities.

So – next time you want just un tout petit peu of a certain food, give une lichette a try. I promise you will be satisfied!

Written by Sarah Raymond for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Posted in French 'mot' du moment, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Cheese: Secrets for Storing Your Finds from the Fromagerie

cheese plate parisClockwise from the blue cheese: Roquefort;
Bouchon de Sancerre; Tome Fermière; Rocamodour

Ever wonder why, when you buy cheese in a proper cheese shop, it comes wrapped in a piece of lined wax paper?  Until I lived in France, I always thought that plastic wrap was the way to go.  It was only when a kind fromager in Lyon introduced me to this aspect of French life that I learned I had been killing the character of my cheeses with the clear, clingy wrap.  This week, Nora Singley, the resident Cheesemonger over at The Kitchn, explains the reason behind the wrapping and why plastic wrap is a no-no – regardless of how stinky the cheese. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | No Comments »