Rue Cler is clearly one of the most beloved market streets in Paris. The shops which are on this street are French Cafes, boulangeries and specialty shops, the ideal street for local Parisians to go for daily shopping. One of the most famous shops in Paris is located in Rue Cler, the name of this shop is La Fromagerie.
Located between Les Invalides and Le Champ de Mars, La Fromagerie Cler is one of the most famous shops to buy cheese in Paris. In the middle of the shopping street in the heart of Paris, lies this famous cheese shop with over 450 varieties of cheese all produced in France, this place is heaven for real amateurs of cheese. If you enter in this small boutique you will be able to see various sizes, shapes, colors, and textures of cheese, some people never saw before in their lives.
The Circular talked to Marc, the owner of this old shop. “My parents set up this company many years ago, in 1957, their idea basically was to propose the most important range of cheese and I think we pretty succeed it.” For instance, Marc’s family won an award in 2010 in a Switzerland contest where some of the most famous “Fromagerie” were exposing their best cheese. “Before 2010, our activity was slightly dropping, we still had good assets, but since we won this award of the “Best Cheese Sellers”, now people are coming from all around the world to visit us. I advise you if you want to come in our shop, to avoid Sundays, it became just too crowded, sometimes the queue starts from down the street.”
In this amazing shop, you will find cheeses that are exclusively produced in France, per example: Comte, Roquefort, Gruyere, Cantal, Beaufort, Camembert or Brie. On Marc’s point of view, “the only difference between La Fromagerie and the other cheese shops in Paris, is that we make degustations, we help people to find what they like in Cheese. Choosing cheese on my own is like choosing a good wine, you have to define the customer’s tastes, wich flavors and textures they appreciate.”
One of the best sales of Marc is clearly the “Beaufort”, which is a really strong cheese which could be assimilated to Parmesan, he says “that’s a pretty new cheese, the “affinage” or aging of this cheese is really hard to proceed, it’s actually one of the most difficult cheese to produce, it takes around 2 to 3 months and a half, and a really few farmers know the real recipe, it’s part of the luxuries cheese we sell, their prices are higher because it is harder to produce really good Beaufort.”
When we ask Marc what would be his last cheese before his death the answer comes straight away: “Valencay Goat Cheese”, he explains “that’s one of the most sensational cheese I’ve ever eat in my life, it is quite expensive but I recommend it to all of my customers, at least to try, and usually, once they’ve tried, they buy one.” Marc is a cheese lover, but that is not his only advantage in the business, he often works with his wife who is also passionate by cheese, her name is Christine and on her point of view, there’s no need of true sails skills to sell cheese. “Cheese doesn’t need any help to be sold, some people come in our shop, just to buy a few of ever cheese, sometimes, people just heard about a cheese and they just want to try or to buy a huge quantity, that’s pretty funny”, she says.
Marc and his wife are really close to their local cheese merchant who is really often farmers from around Paris, those people are friends of them and can tell them which cheeses are in season or particularly good or even “trendy“, sometimes. That also makes a big difference, for example, Beaufort is a delicious, grainy hard cow’s cheese. It has two different seasons, but the best season for Beaufort is winter, which is made from summer cow’s milk (when the grass in Normandy is greenest). When you select a soft cheese, such as Camembert, Roquefort or St. Marcelin tell the salesperson when you plan to eat it. The specialist (Marc or his wife) will squeeze de packages until they find the part of the cheese that will be perfect at the moment you want to eat it. It will be so creamy that you will almost need a spoon and you will be back the next day for more.
These experiences are part of the joy of renting a Paris apartment, where you can live life like a Parisian.