My fridge is a shrine to cheese. In my world, a cheese plate is every plate. Each meal of the day should be a cheese course… I can’t really convey how much I love cheese (especially French cheese), but I can tell you where to buy it.
A short drive or bus ride (when I say short, it is walkable, but then how are you going to get all the cheese home?) from is Mons’ only shop in the Riviera, La Fromagerie du Cannet. Philippe, a happy Frenchman, runs the store and is full of advice for caring for your cheeses, the provenance of his wares, and will create you the perfect cheese board so that you keep going back.
The breadth of cheeses on display is very impressive, even in a country that specialises in fromage. “I have around 60 different cheeses on display every day,” says Philippe. “We have over 200 cheeses in our list, but even for a cheese seller that’s a bit too much choice. If you want a cheese from the catalogue, but can’t see it, we can usually get it in.”
I tend to be led by the seasons when choosing a cheese – Camembert and oozing cheeses during the cooler months and a fresh, soft chevre/goat’s cheese or a harder, light brebis/sheep’s cheese when it’s warmer. “I’ve just started to get fresh buttons of chevre in,” says Philippe. “They’re made only a few days before I put on the counter and are great with fruits and jams or confits.”
One chevre I tried (and bought) was his intriguing Cosne de Port Aubry, a cone-like cheese with a soft rind and pure white flesh – delicious and soft on the pocket at 3.50€ for a hefty slice and something I’d pay a lot more for. The tomme he offered me – a blend of cow, goat and sheep’s milk – was smooth and light, the perfect cheese for if you want something a like different at breakfast. I couldn’t resist a nimble of the French equivalent to gorgonzola, a creamy blue cheese with a strong aromas and greeny-blue veins, either. My quick visit was soon turning into a sit down meal with a glass of brawny Savoie white all thrown in!
A lot of effort has been put into the décor of the shop and the mix of solid wood furniture, cow hide textures and hay bales on the wall with a neutral palate and lots of light make it a very endearing space to be in. Philippe’s warm willingness to advise and educate makes it a true experience – one that any gourmand would enjoy.
La Fromagerie du Cannet, Mons’ Cannes-based shop, can be found just off the main road at 1 rue de Cannes. While the cheeses are obviously the main product on sale, Philippe also carries stock of a range of wines from 6€ to 45€ as well as some charcuterie and cheese equipment (think slate trays, knives, boards, fondue sets…).
All in all, it is well worth a visit if you are in the area and should definitely be on your list if you like your cheese!