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Mar 24, 2012 07:09 AM

pouligny st pierre cheese emergency (Paris shopping help)

Sadly I type this on my phone from the back of a taxi headed to Paris. After checking out of the gite this morning, our rental car broke down on the way to Beaune for cheese shopping. The rental company towed our car and arranged cab for us. But the Marché was packing up and Alain Hess was closed for lunch by the time we finally arrived. We'd been buying all week at Hess and I had a long list of things to have packed for travel today. My plan to stop in Saulieu at the fromagerie has also gone up in smoke.

I'd had a special request to bring back the pouligny st pierre that Hess sells. Where can I find it in Paris? For that matter, Gaugrey's raw milk Epoisses that I'm told is not easy to find outside the region. Other things on my lists are Cendre, Ami du Chambertin, Plaisir du Chablis, Chevreton de Macon, Tomme de brebis bourgogne, delices de Pommard, and Soumantrains. I have Sunday and Monday to shop though I understand these are common days to close.

Last week I did visit Jouannault, but it does not have Gaugrey. Its close to the apartment and I can get there tonight before it closes, with any luck.

Ideas? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Try the cheese stand advertising "nasty cheeses" at Marché St Quentin (metro: Gare de l'Est). It has a wide range of rare cheeses and also vacuum-packs "nasty cheeses" for you.
    Another place, not far from it, is Ferme St Hubert (36 Rue Rochechouart, metro cadet).

    3 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      Is this the "nasty cheeses" place?

      Fromagerie Annie & Gilles Quiecout
      85 bis Boulevard Magenta
      Marché Saint Quentin
      75010 Paris

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        I think so.
        When you show up , you can't miss it. Look for the "nasty cheeses" sign.
        There is a smaller cheese stand in the market. So if it is not one it's the other.

        1. re: Parigi

          Than you, unfortunately, my plans today have been scuttled by la revanche de Montezuma. Can't go out.

    2. Before you spend a bundle, Google U.S. Customs. I have had soft cheeses seized upon returning to the States.

      1. Dubois on Maubert Mutualite generally has Ami and Gaugry, sometimes cendre. l do get the Soumaintrain rarely in Paris as never aged, always chalky. Dubois also has Pouligny often as does Barthelemy and Galleries Lafayette.

        Real bummer you did not get to Fourchal in Saulieu, his fromage fort is top of my life cheese list

        5 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          I tried Soumaintrain perhaps three or four times in the last week in Burgundy and none seemed ripe enough. I was interested in buying a whole piece and keeping it at home longer to see what it might taste like with more age.

          I did manage to dash over to Jouannault yesterday. No Pouligny or Maconnais but I did pick up Clacbitou from Bourgogne. Not one I've tasted before.

          Then I went to the stand in Marche des Enfants Rouges called La Petite Ferme d'Ines and found Pouligny St Pierre there. The mold is most white with just a shading of orange at the lower part of the pyramid, rather than the deeper color of the examples at Alain Hess. No vacuum-packing here, so I'll keep looking today for a place that can pack from travel. But I did buy one and my friend and I will enjoy it before I go home.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Melanie, while we usually have cheeses vacuum packed, we have always done very well by having them as tightly packaged as possible then putting them in a close fitting Tupperware AND packing them in our CHECKED luggage. You can buy plastic containers in any grocery or housewares shop.

            1. re: mangeur

              I had brought a couple disposable containers with me. Since I have no opportunity to seek out the perfect Pouligny St Pierre, the one in hand will go home with me packed in a plastic tub.

              1. re: mangeur

                Cheese made it home safely with me, clearing Customs in Chicago O'Hare. Here's the PSP tucked safely into the snug-fitting plastic tub.

          2. There is only one Cheese Store in Paris, Bartelemy, on the rue du Grenelle. Sepurb. Thuey will cryovac jyour purchase no problrm importing. Ask for Mlle. Bertelemy herself. Bon appetit, Chic Fille

            12 Replies
            1. re: chicfille

              You can't Cryovac the really soft cheeses, and I got busted by a dog whose scenting abilities transcended Cryovac.

              1. re: pikawicca

                Again, put all cheese in your checked luggage where it is not subject to inspection by dogs..

                1. re: mangeur

                  Not so in this instance: they had a beagle sniffing the luggage as it went around on the baggage carousel.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        After a bad experience returning from France through Dulles 12 years ago, I will never willingly fly home through there again.

                        A friend returned from France last month, clearing at SFO, and said Customs wasn't concerned about the cheese on his declaration, only the meat he declared which was all foie gras. I had the same experience at O'Hare, fortunately.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          It all depends on what Customs inspector you get -- raw-milk cheeses are technically forbidden, but I and many others have had inspectors turn a blind eye toward small quantities obviously for personal (and immediate) consumption.

                          But the unfortunate fact remains that it's technically illegal, and there is always the chance it will be taken.

                          And yes -- the beagles are there for show as much as to find stuff in people's hand luggage, and were chosen specifically because they're cute and non-intimidating -- the labs and shepherds (the real enforcers) are behind the scene, and they have gone over your luggage with a fine-toothed nose (!) long before you ever see it coming out of the baggage chute.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            Raw milk cheeses that are aged less than 60 days are illegal in the US, to be technically correct.

                            Absolutely enforcement varies and is also a moving target over time. Actually, anything can be taken at the officer's discretion, so it's always a calculated risk.

                  1. re: mangeur

                    Everything in all and any of your bags - carryon and checked luggage - can be inspected at US Customs. Dogs, x-ray or hand-searched.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      That I know. I have just never had agriculture/customs check our checked bags. Only TSA. Our carry-ons are thoroughly sniffed while we are awaiting our luggage in the arrivals hall.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        Bags are often checked before you see them, the dogs on the carousel are as much for show (a detterent) as they are for checking. Why do you think bags sometime come through quickly other times slowly. Some cheese is OK but unpasteurised soft cheese usually not. Regs change from time to time.

                2. re: chicfille

                  It is a great shop but there are quite a few others inthe same league, there is no "best" in Paris as all the goodones have different specialities.

                3. Today's food shopping took me to the Marche' Beauvau this morning and I visited the two cheese stands. Only know the name of one of them, C. Hardouin. It had the Pouligny St Pierre but they were very fresh with nearly pure white mold, so I didn't buy. Hardouin also sells Gaugrey Epoisses but only in the mini size.

                  Hardouin had some unidentified Epoisses fermier. I had one sous vide'd for travel and the other to eat tonight. By the time we got it home, it had turned to goo, as shown in the oozing photo. I'll be leaving the second one here for my friend, too ripe and fragile to travel.

                  The other cheese stand has Gaugrey Epoisses but no sous vide ability. I also saw the Pouligny St Pierre there, but all of the cheeses in the chevre part of the case were coated with black mold, including the Pouligny.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Not black mold, but carbon ash, adds nothing, for appearance and tradition

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      We routinely buy unpasteurized Gaugrey Epoisses from Ferme St. Huberts on rue Rochechouart who happily vacuum seal them for us.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        I'll mention that I was a dinner guest at the Paris apartment of a wonderful couple from Savigny les Beaune on Saturday and asked them where I could find Gaugrey Ami du Chambertin on my time schedule. They said Bon Marché or Marie-Anne Cantin. I was not able to shop at either on Monday as planned, but perhaps that information helps the next person.

                        We'd brought a kilo-size Berthaut Epoisses purchased the day before at Alain Hess in Beaune to the dinner. The right choice, as we learned that there are some family ties to Berthaut. Also it confirmed for me again that the bigger size tastes better than the smaller rounds of Berthaut Epoisses. Here's the wine our hosts shared to accompany the cheese.