Like its sister shop The Spanish Table, Paris Grocery is a wee storefront in which hours are easily wasted and dollars easily spent. How I wish had more of both so I could indulge in a Euro shopping spree. Alas, I do not, so it’s the store’s little treasures I have come to appreciate, such as Cazelle de Saint Affrique cheese.
A cupcake-like puck made from sheep’s milk, cazelle is shrouded in a delicate, powdered mold casing. The cheese within is slightly salty and velvety—perfect for spreading on breads and crackers—but still retains a stubborn consistency that gives it shape and depth. Now, being from Wisconsin, I’m naturally somewhat of a cheese xenophobe, but this French craftsmanship just might kick to the curb my beloved extra-sharp, five-year cheddar. Traitorous, I know, Dad.
I recently brought cazelle and another French cheese, a harder goat variety, to a dinner party. Both were hits, but it was the cazelle that got the crowd chattering. “I love the creaminess”, “That’s my favorite,” and “Perfect texture” were a few of the comments overheard. Paired with honey crisp apples or dried fruits it’s even more delicious.
Each puck costs $7.99. Buy a couple—they go quickly. And if you’re a cheese-geek like me, you might find the origins of cazelle interesting.
What are some other cheeses I should be trying?