If one of the things you always miss about France is the incredible selection of cheese, the French Cheese Board’s new 39th Street location in New York, might be your best quick fix. And to make it even more tempting, they’re holding a series of pop-up events so you can sample, and stock up for the holidays.
Part store, part gallery (photos of good-looking French women eating cheese), part tasting area, the French Cheese Board is– as they say– the “first international event space dedicated solely to the deliciousness of French cheese.” They will soon have a cooking school and also offer educational projects. The website has beautiful photos of cheese, along with pronunciation guides, wine tips and some interesting-looking recipes–all to help you “make it magnifique”.
This fall, in partnership with the Cheeses of Europe, they’re doing three Friday pop-up events. I went to the first one around lunch time. It sure didn’t look like New Yorkers needed their arms twisted into eating French cheese! The place was jammed and it was easy to see why. At tables lining both walls were the participating producers, each with big platters holding tasting samples of their products. There was even a wine bar, if you needed a little palate cleanser, or just wanted to feel more French. The fromage ran the gamut from butters to triple crèmes to blues, chèvres and everything in-between. I ate most of them. And I bought a lot of them!
My favorites were pretty typical for me–a terrific triple crème and a Saint Marcellin (also pretty creamy and a little bit stinky–in a good way). The French feta is lovely and makes a great addition to my lunch salads, and the Raclette made a fantastic “potato salad” with a recipe I got from the website. Since I also picked up a couple of butters, it may be time to do another butter tasting (so I can stock up in November).
There will be two more tastings before the end of the year, on November 21st and December 12th. They run from 11 am-7 pm, but it seems to be a good idea to get there early–less crowded, shorter lines to check out, and more selection. And don’t forget, there’s a Maison Kayser just a block away (that’s where all the great bread they used came from). Look for me there!
Anne Maxfield is a New York based food influencer and blogger who dreams of making the South of France her home. When she’s not tracking down cheese or making her own charcuterie, she writes the Accidental Locavore blog and contributes to the Huffington Post. This article is adapted from a post on her blog.
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