Posts Tagged ‘cantin’

C’est Frommage: Cantin

May 11, 2011

Say Cheese!

The Experienced Travelers promised our faithful Food-eurs and Food-ettes a taste of Paris, and it’s time we delivered.  Uncork  your favourite vintage and keep an aged wedge near at hand, because you’ll need both by the end of this post.

As many of you know, Nurse and I often rent an apartment off the rue de Champs de Mars.  This gives us the thrill of food shopping in the rue Cler and the deep satisfaction of Nurse’s talents in our kitchen – compounded by the Found Money from “eating in” that we can fritter away later.

Naturally we visited the cheese  store on the corner, lured by the dazzling window display of wedges and rounds.  Who knew that our corner shop was the world-renown Marie-Anne Cantin fromager de tradition Affineur.

Cantin on the rue de Champs de Mars: through these doors lies perfection

Cantin supplies the best Paris hotels and aristocratic tables.  When the Sarkozys entertain at the Élysée Palace, Carla rings up Cantin.  Surely this tenuous thread is the closest the ETs have come to the ermine cloak of power.  Can la Légion d’ honneur be far behind?

Calling all citoyens - slice a baguette and dive in

Mme. Cantin’s father opened the shop in 1950 and it is from him that she learned the art of cheese-making.  She ages her own delicacies in one of her seven caves, and sources others from small farms.  Mme.’s website advises that the process begins with the hay or grass that a happy cow, goat or ewe grazes, and finishes in caves, aging from a few weeks to two years for a beaufort or comté. (We may have cheeses aging that long in the fridge. Does that count?)

Hungry yet? Mme. Cantin's cheeses are cause for celebration

The inviting shop features chèvre, brie, camembert, comté, roquefort and cantal.   Even the uncompromising liverot – the colonel of cheese – stands at attention.  If you’re inclined to raw milk cheeses, Mme. can fulfill your order with the authentic item.  There is also rich butter and exquisite crème fraîche doled out from a large bowl.

The ETs were welcomed by the helpul staff at Cantin

Last month I brought Melinda to worship at this  Shrine of Cheese.  She went directly for the hard cheese while I favored the chevres.  We floated on the sweet pungent scents, admiring the selection and fingering the Found Money in our pockets.  The staff graciously explained the bounty before us, while I shamefully wished for a Triscuit and a knife.  My friend Stephen swears that the smelly, runny varieties are most satisfying.  He would be delighted with Cantin.

On an earlier trip, this delectable Cantin epoisses raised the standard of our vin ordinaire

Rest assured the ETs are dedicated to further exploration of Marie-Anne Cantin’s excellent craft whenever they are in the rue de Champs de Mars.  And when we win the lottery, we’ll have Mme. Cantin on speed-dial, just like Carla Bruni and the Comte de Paris.


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