Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Jul 20, 2009 08:17 PM

Travel friendly Pate and Cheese

I have a friend back in the US that really loves pate and cheeses and asked me to pick up some for him when I go back in 2 weeks. What are some brands that you guys recommend that could survive a plan ride across the Atlantic and are easily available in Paris. Thanks! Also, if you guys have anything else to recommend that's also travel friendly, it'd be much appreciated. He loves to try new things.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. imho the best pate and foie gras you can buy (AND it is not available in US) is Dubernet. They have a shop in Paris @ 2 Rue Augereau Paris 7e (75007). telephone : The foie gras comes in several different size cans, and the pates do also.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChefJune

      I found their website below.

      Also, do you have any recommendations on which types to get? Their selection looks quite large. I'd like to purchase mainly pate, but I'll opt for maybe 1-2 cans of foie gras.

    2. My absolutely favorite cheese in the world: Delice de Pommard. A double-cream goat cheese wrapped in red-wine soaked mustard husks. I have found it in the US. There are a few cheeses that are illegal in the US because they are made from raw milk and aged less than 60 days, such as Epoisse. Something "illegal" like that would be a real treat.

      You may want to check into what is legal to bring back into the country. Also, if you are going to be going through security again when in the US, cheese or pate may not be allowed. The latest issue of Culture magazine had an article about two people carrying cheese on board -- security confiscated it from one person (it's a gel!) but not the other. So, if you can, pack it in your checked luggage.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Reignking

        RK, pate is allowed as long as it is vacuum packed. Dubernet products are either jarred or tinned. I have never had any problem with them.

        DUY028, I usually buy the duck foie, and the assorted tins of pates/rillettes that come 6 to a pack together. They make great snacks, or great little memento-gifts for friends.

        1. re: Reignking

          I think the Époisses from Fromagerie Germain is made from pasteurized milk--at least that's what it says in Swedish on labels for export to Scandinavia. I've always been satisfied with Germain's products, although in Paris I usually try different brands, e.g. Berthaut.

          1. re: Reignking

            All makers of Epoisses, primarily Berthault and Jean Gaugry, now use thermalised milk, thus legal, if way too salty and a mere shadow of what their unpasteurized originals were.If it were my choice, l would bring back two cheeses from L Dubois, a cheese shop at Maubert-Mutualite metro stop. The cheeses are 4 year old Comte and Clacbitou, a chevre from Burgundy, both are aged long so legal. All meats are illegal to bring back to USA, whether an entire Jamon de Bellota Iberico, or a little tin of pate. Still, l always bring back a little JAR, not tin, of mi-cuit Fois Gras. If asked l would give it up, but never have been asked.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Stefan, the tinned foie gras is not illegal, because it is vacuum packed. I don't know anyone who has had that taken away.

              1. re: ChefJune

                From the customs website is says all meat and meat products can't be imported. If tinned was OK it is because the canning process involves heat that pasteurizes the food, it isn't a vacuum (or it would be a very thick can) which simply slows microbial growth.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  Hi Stefan, meet me - I had all my tinned foie gras taken away at security in terminal 2 CDG last week - I tried to argue with him but you know how well that went! Anyway once you get into the secure area you can buy foie gras and cheese (including raw cheeses) at the duty free. I'm sure my foie made the security man's family very happy that evening.

                  1. re: florence

                    Hi Florence - I just went through CDG Terminal 2 yesterday - i had 10 tins of assorted pates, three jars of rillette, and three mustards (I won't be going back to Paris soon :( - I just checked it in my luggage, the woman at the ticket counter said I could carry it on and I just told her had pate and she said ok and checked it.

                    When I got to US customs I claimed the appropriate amount and checked the box on the form that I was carrying meat - I had no problems thankfully.

                    However I was flying air Canada so I landed in Montreal THEN went through US customs in order to fly to Boston. Not sure if that makes a difference.

                2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  hmmmm...I had no idea when i bought the cheese and lapin/vollaille pate at Fauchon that you couldn't bring it back to the states. When I saw the questions about "food" and "meat" on the little form...i assumed they meant something commercial and checked "no". We had no problems in CDG or back home in Charlotte.

                  The guy at Fauchon vacuum packed the cheeses for me and everything arrived fine...the St. Nectaire was a little runnier than when it started but everything delicious. I found the cheese to be relatively reasonably priced at Fauchon.

                  1. re: danna

                    Paris, as even New York, generally sells cheeses for about the same price, regardless where purchased. Some items may be less expensive or more expensive for a number of reasons, but generally will be equal give or take a smidge.

              2. Thanks for this, I am going to Paris in Sept and am so excited to find these tasty treats!

                6 Replies
                1. re: rr2035

                  Just a note of warning: When my mother visited me in France a few months back, she had her tins of food confiscated at US customs - the agent told her it was because the tins had a "pop top" as opposed to a top that was completely sealed (e.g. would need a can opener to open). Unfortunately, a large number of the tins here in France have such pop tops. So, be careful!

                  On a brighter note, the agent was completely uninterested in any of the cheese she had in her carry-on, including a Basque Blue and and some other stinky ones (she put them in tupperware during the flight so as not to stink up the airplane).

                  I might bring back one of the tasty Basque-area cheeses - many of their sheeps cheeses are a little harder and, I feel, travel a bit better than the runnier types. One I really like is Chistera., athough I don't know if it is one you can buy in the States or not...

                  1. re: anakalia

                    Chistera ( named after the basket holder used in Jai-Alai to catch the pelote, ball, is rarely if ever seen in USA. Try Capitoul, very similar or the easily accessible Istara, a little saltier, but similar texture and flavor.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Thanks, DCM, for the info re the Chistera. If I could ask you a quick question: The kind I bought at my fromagerie said it is part chevre, part sheep's cheese. But everything I read about this cheese says it should be made all from ewe's milk... what have I been eating, then?

                      1. re: anakalia

                        Some of the Basque cheeses, as many other areas, use what milk is available when cheese is made. Product is not A.O.C. so no real rules re: what milk MUST go in. That being said most milk in Pyrenees area is sheep, but many made with goat and now as new cheeses are made every day, they do whatever they like, with often great results.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          I know this is different but last night we got back to San Francisco from visit to Provence. We brought among other things a very large jar of lavender honey. We declared and they cleared us through. Passport checker said it was not a problem. First customs agent said we had to go through agriculture check. Agriculture check said we did right thing to declare but that it is only illegal to bring honey comb back into the country because of the danger of live bees. During conversation, agriculture checker made it clear that tinned cans of meat products are not illegal.

                          1. re: Pammel

                            I'm amazed and thrilled that you could bring in the honey. There is no honey quite as wonderful (imho) as Provencal Lavender Honey.

                2. Meat products are allowed, as long as they are hermetically sealed (metal can or sealed glass jar) with an expiration date at least 3 years from today's date.

                  It's the unpackaged meat products that they have a hissy about...hams, sausages, etc....

                  Put it in your checked luggage, and declare in the section for stuff you bought...and the "are you bringing meat" question refers to stuff that's not in a jar or tin.