In a country that produces hundreds of cheeses, Paris is the single place where one could sample them all. Discovering the best cheeses in Paris is really about personal preference, but it also depends on the season. I indulge in fresh goat’s milk cheese in spring when it is as close to perfection as it gets. Paris in spring is all about Camembert and I thank the cows of Normandy whole-heartedly with every bite. In winter, I seem to gravitate toward the aged cheeses. Of course, Paris is famous for its cheese shops and these proprietors understand when any cheese has ripened to its most perfect state.
When it comes to Parisian fromagiers, I love Marie-Anne Cantin. Her shop is located on the rue du Champ de Mars and it is famous for its meticulous selection process–their raw milk cheeses made in limited quantities from small farms are beyond mouth-watering. Of course, the city’s excellent fromagiers will allow customers to sample varieties and instruct them in the best choices for the season or for particular culinary needs.
During summer and much of the fall, I also find a superb quantity of cheeses available at the farmers markets. Strolling through a French market place is heady with smells of flowers and fresh pastries, but I can usually sniff out the best cheeses for my after-dinner cheese trays or something to snack on while I tool around town."