Visit to Fauchon and a cheese and wine party
Sunday, November 13, 2011

Since we were making whole cakes this past week, there wasn’t much to snack on during class other than some cake trimmings and extra mousse. Not that I’m looking for an excuse, but this left us with an unsatisfied sweet craving. So after class one day, we made a visit to Fauchon. It’s an old, gourmet food company founded back in 1886.  They sell teas, cookies, chocolates, as well as ready-made meals and pastries in their store across from Place de la Madeleine.

As part of my research on where to go for my internship, I read about the company’s extensive history. They struggled a lot financially over the past few decades which resulted in shutting down all 3 stores in New York and selling most its 12 stores in Paris to Lenôtre. That being said, the quality of their pastries has not been compromised. I was impressed at their annual éclair event back in September and this time, I was equally happy with my selections.

A fancy take on sandwiches to-go.

It's too bad their savoury foods were so expensive because they looked very tempting. You can get a beet salad for €7.20 or a scallop and potato salad for €14. I feel that if I were to spend this much money, I'd choose to eat in a restaurant.

After much debate, I finally settled on this futuristic looking pastry. It looks like a planet hit by meteorites. The gold plate and cutlery was quite fitting as a backdrop.

Now for the taste analysis. The white sphere has a layer of sponge cake in the centre, surrounded by a creamy caramel and speculoos flavoured pastry cream. The white border is a vanilla mousse sprayed with a thin layer of white chocolate. The crunchy base was made of speculoos cookies, caramel, and crumbled cookie pieces. Very delicious.

I also got 5 macarons: lemon mint, chocolate, milk chocolate passionfruit, vanilla, and praline. The macaron shells were delicate, almost too fragile. They were also a bit more moist and heavy than the average macaron. The flavours of the filing were good but they could've been a bit more generous with the amount.

At the end of the week, we had a cheese and wine party at my friend’s apartment. There were lots of interesting and very pungent cheese.

Clockwise starting from the top left: blue cheese and red wine, cow's milk cheese washed in cider, cow's milk cheese wrapped with dried whole grapes.

The pot of blue cheese and red wine was combined together beautifully. It’s creamy, melts quickly on your tongue, and leaves you with the aftertaste of red wine.

The orange half-moon shaped cheese on the top right is a cow’s milk cheese washed in cider. This one was a soft cheese, moist, and very sharp and pungent at first taste. Then, you are hit with a bitterness which ends on a sweet note. Too exciting for my taste buds.

The bottom slice of cheese is another cow’s milk cheese wrapped in dried whole grapes. This one was medium firmness, sweet, rich, slightly bitter, and more salty compared to the other two. Given its appearance, I was surprised it was the least pungent of the three.

Clockwise starting from top left: Gouda with cumin, sheep's milk cheese, stilton blue cheese, cow's milk cheese (just a regular mozzarella).

The gouda (cow’s milk cheese) with cumin was very floral, light, and slightly acidic.

The sheep’s milk cheese was my favourite of the evening. It was fruity, medium firmness, and not too rich. This is my everyday sort of cheese.

A close-up of the Stilton blue cheese. I'm still not so comfortable about eating all that blue mold inside my cheese. But, I did try a slice and it wasn't so bad. It was crumbly, creamy, sharp, and more salty than the other cheese. Not as pungent as I expected it to be.

Missing in the pictures is a slice of Roquefort cheese that was so stinky we had to keep it wrapped until we were ready to eat. The Roquefort cheese was similar in texture to the Stilton but more moist. I couldn’t finish my slice of Roquefort. I had reached my limit of mold intake by that point.

Here's our dinner table of cheeses, bread, veggies and fruit. I think we'll be doing this again soon. Simple and so satisfying.

 

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!