Not all cheese is created equal. This becomes clear when visiting Alléosse cheese shop near Paris’s Rue Poncelet market in the 17th arrondissement and sampling their vast cheese selection. This shop has become an institution since its opening in 1984, and where you’ll often meet the cheese master Phillipe Alléosse himself. Who better to advise on a seasonal cheese plate? Ask about his favorite camembert or his Mont d’Or with truffles!
The story behinds these 750 varieties of cheese involves two generations of cheese producers. At the helm is Philippe and his wife Rachel, who take every care in expertly ripening their cheeses in 250m2 cellars beneath the streets of Paris. Well recognized in the global cheese world, Philippe has already received many professional distinctions for his work, including 1st French Master cheese maker and maturer, and youngest cheese maker and maturer.
The only cheese cave of its kind in the French capital is off limits to anyone not involved in the ripening process. But here’s a secret look inside the artisanal world of the Alléosse family’s cheese maturation, where each of four maturing cellars feature a select type of cheese. Included are goat’s cheese, soft cheeses with a flowery rind or washed crust, and pressed cheeses. Temperatures of the cellars vary depending on the family of cheeses, with quantities between eight to ten thousand at any given time.
Maturation is the last stage of the cheese making process and ensures the best and most diversified selection of cheeses. It’s during these long months that the flavors and textures of the cheeses are enhanced. As Philippe shared, the process is an art using ancestral traditions and is partly innate.
Luckily for the rest of us, our job is only to enjoy these refined cheeses that the Alléosse family take so much pride in creating.
Alléosse, 13 Rue Poncelet, 75017 Paris, Tel: +33 (0)1 46 22 50 45. Closed Mondays. Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm, 3:30 pm to 7 pm. Sundays from 9 am to 1 pm.
Lead photo credit : Alléosse cheese shop. Photo: Michel Trehet
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