The reason for my Montmartre wanderings last Friday was this: a fromagerie. Frankly, it’s a little embarrassing that I hadn’t made it over there before last week. I mean, it’s Jennifer Greco’s favorite cheese shop in Paris! (That Loulou knows her cheese.)
Chez Virginie is a charmingly packed cheese shop on the less-touristy side of the Butte Montmartre. Mountains of artisan cheeses are flanked by bottles of wine, cured hams, cookies, and other cheese-friendly treats.
The salesgirl was enthusiastic and helpful. When I was curious about a cheese, she offered me a taste immediately. I managed to limit myself to three cheeses, but was very tempted by the four-cheese flight for 7.50. Next time. This would be a perfect place to build a picnic, because about half a block down the street lies Arnaud Delmontel‘s famed boulangerie, as well as Arnaud Larher‘s chocolate and macaron shop. Make sure to take a peek at the Montmartre Cemetery before you go too far – at the very least, do what I did, and snap some photos through the trellis on rue Caulaincourt.
So what did I choose from among that array of beautiful cheeses? Well, I got a funky-looking cendré de Champagne, a “rarissime” raw mountain cow’s milk cheese, and…
Le Petit Gaugry!
When I asked for it, the salesgirl smiled and told me that this one was very good. I knew it would be, as I’m an established fan of Fromagerie Gaugry and their luscious washed-rind cheeses. The Petit Gaugry was pretty much a tiny époisses, the perfect serving size for two. Nick and I just went straight for the spoon, digging through the gooey orange rind to the cream-colored center and spreading it thickly on slices of baguette. It has the distinctive strong smell of a good washed-rind cheese, which carries over onto the palate with the tangy umami you only find in lait cru cheeses. Simply put: it’s cheese bliss.
Of course I am sending this over to Chez Loulou for La Fête du Fromage. I’m a little ahead of schedule this month, but be sure to check the roundup on March 15th.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.