Tuesday, December 6, 2011


During my stint at Pain in my... Pain de Sucre, I would sometimes take my time walking home and explore a bit of the Marais, a very popular and charming area of Paris. More than once I stopped into the little fromagerie, Jouannault (at 39, rue de Bretagne, Paris), since they lured me in the first time with offerings of free cheese. I can be quite loyal and since that first visit, would stop every time I passed to buy something.

When I saw that they had an array of house made bries I was intrigued. When I saw that they made one with a layer of truffles in the middle I knew I had to bring some home. Being a cheese lover means that I discovered the soft temptress known as brie many years ago. She was the first "real" cheese in my life and I think a lot of people start out with her because she's so mild and gentle, careful with your palate, but soft and flavorful all the same. Since then, however, I have somewhat moved on to bigger and bolder cheeses, leaving this quaint little beauty behind. But with the new face-lift of truffles hidden inside, I couldn't help but be tempted. Plus I was quite certain that this little house made cheese would blow all my mass produced American counterparts out of the water.

Brie is lovely because, for me, it's like butter. Easy to spread and it goes with pretty much everything. It has a soft nutty flavor to it that makes it interesting and texturally I adore it. This brie, as I predicted, was incredible. It certainly had more flavor than most of the brie's I've had before. It's nutty flavor lingered on my tongue and there were soft hints of sweet and sour fermentation in the background. And then there was the layer of truffles.

Truffles are fabulous little fungi with so much flavor backed in such a small package, they're like pit bulls of the food world. Just a little bit and they can overtake a dish. But somehow, Jouannault was able to create a nice balance between the oh-so-strong truffle and the sweet and innocent brie. The truffle flakes were not just hanging out in a free for all in the middle of the brie, but were instead nestled in a delicate bed of what I can only describe as cream cheese. But this ain't no Philadelphia, this was fabulously tender homemade cream cheese. And homemade by French people. So of course it is undeniably superior. The entire cheese was so delicious that I had to eat it up as quickly as possible for fear that my roommate would beat me too it. We fought a little over the last few pieces but each time we put some in our mouth we couldn't help but surrender to its soft, sweet, nutty, truffle-y tastiness.

A perfect cheese for when you're in the mood for something flavorful but don't want to commit to a day of smelling like gym socks, this Brie de La Maison Avec Truffe was certainly all I thought it was going to be and more. My only complaint is that I didn't buy enough of it.

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