Unbrielievable: Paris set to get its first cheese dairy

Cheese lovers in the French capital will soon be able to get their hands on locally-made cheese products, as the "Made in Paris" project gathers steam.

Unbrielievable: Paris set to get its first cheese dairy
Photo: Pexels
Cheese maker Pierre Coulon, a former goat breeder from western France's Loire-Atlantique, says it's high time Paris had its own dairy.
“There are urban cheese dairies in New York and London – why don't we have them here?” the 33-year-old told the 20 Minutes newspaper
The Frenchman has announced that he will open his own cheese dairy in the northern suburbs of Paris, where he will offer “Made in Paris” cheese. 
He told the paper he had been inspired by a cheese tour of the world, where he stopped in countries including the US, UK, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland (to name just a few). 
And as a result – the “Laiterie de Paris” will open its doors in September next year in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, in the Goutte d'Or area. 
But such projects don't come cheaply, and Coulon is being backed by the public thanks to a crowd-funding site that has proved popular, raising over €10,000 of its €40,000 goal.
Donors can get all sorts of treats depending how much they contribute. A €5 donation, for example, gets you an e-book with a few recipes, while €400 gets you a full day's visit to the site and the offer of a hands-on experience. 
Those making a real Munster of a donation – €2,000 in fact – can get their whole company along for the day. 
So what can we expect from the “Made in Paris” dairy?
Well firstly, don't expect to hear the mooing of cattle in the 18th arrondissement (or the braying of goats, for the matter) – the livestock will be kept elsewhere.
The cheese, however, will be made on site. 
Coulon has hinted that he will stick to the classics, saying that buyers could expect “a good Brie, a Tomme, and a Raclette”.
He'll also sell butter, yoghurts, and fresh cream. 
Want to help the project along the way? Visit the crowd-funding site here.

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Why is everyone in France talking about Mont d’Or cheese today?

Mont d’Or cheese is a French treasure you can only find at a specific time of the year. But why's that?

Why is everyone in France talking about Mont d’Or cheese today?
A Mont d'Or cheese. Photo: AFP

Today is the day!

September 10th marks the beginning of the sale of the famous Mont d’Or cheese in France.

This rich cheese with a rich history borrows its name from the highest point of the Doubs département (located in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in Eastern France) and goes way back since it was already mentioned in the 1280 Encyclopédie des Fromages (the Cheese Encyclopeadia).  


You can also find it under the name Vacherin, but rather in Switzerland than in its original region.

Though it is much loved, the Mont d’Or cheese is also much awaited as it can only be savoured from September 10th to May. Here’s why.

A seasonal cheese

The Mont d’Or was first created after peasants looked to create a smaller cheese with their “winter milk”, as the production was reduced during the coldest months. A raw milk that, according to the Fromagerie La Ferté, gives it a “texture that offers a soft and creamy consistency without being too runny”.

It can only be produced from August 15th to March 31st, hence why its appearances in dairies are seasonal.

Consequently, it became a winter cheese and could not be produced in the summer since it can’t handle hot temperatures. During spring and summer, where milk is more abundant, Comté cheese is made. 

READ ALSO: This is how much the French are obsessed with cheese

Specific production process

But other than being unobtainable during the sunny months, its making process also follows a list of specifications since it has both the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée and the Appelation d’Origine Protégée.

These designations attest to the authenticity of the product and of the savoir-faire of its producers while protecting its name not only in France but in the entire European Union.

The Mont d’Or can then only be produced in a designated area of 95 Haut-Doubs municipalities – all at least 700 metres above sea level – and made at of raw milk from grass-fed Montbeliarde or French Simmental herds.

A woman cutting the spruce straps that circle the Mont d'Or cheese. Photo: AFP

The cheese is also supported by a circle of spruce wood to provide it from running. After at least a 12-day maturing (during which the cheese is scrubbed daily with salted water), the Mont d’Or terminates its ripening process in a slightly smaller spruce box that gives it its wrinkled crust as a nod to the mountain it took its name from.

But these many specificities do not prevent producers from delivering (on average) 5,500 tonnes of Mont d’Or each year.