A few weeks ago my friend Marie-Eve popped down from Normandy for a weekend of fun in Lyon. It was a whirlwind trip but we managed to fit in most of my favourite spots in the city.
One of the highlights of the weekend was a cheese dégustation at Fromagerie Mons in Les Halles Paul Bocuse. I have tried to do this with a number of other out-of-town guests (sorry, Kinnon!), but without success. Mons, like many of the fromagers in Les Halles (and, well, all businesses in France), can sometimes keep strange hours. Especially in the summer.
But on this particular Saturday they were open and doing dégustations!
For 12€ you get to try 4 cheeses with a side of fresh greens in house vinaigrette, all the warm bread you like, and a nice glass of wine paired with the cheese selection.
On top of that, you get full access to the fromager who will tell you all about the cheeses, where they come from, how they are aged, and whether or not to eat the crust. I’m always stumped on that one.
And you can ply him/her with silly questions, like, “Is Camembert just low classy brie?” or “Why is blue cheese blue?” or “Are you sure I can eat this part?”
I feel especially fortunate that our friend Matt who works at Mons was available to do the dégustation because I am totally comfortable being a cheese ignoramus around him. His passion for cheese knows no bounds.
Here’s a little before and after action for you:
Malheureusement, I made the mistake of not writing down the names of the cheeses that we tried, but I believe they were (clockwise from the left)
a chèvre, something from cows milk, a Camembert, and a roquefort. Hopefully Matt can jog my memory with the names (hint). Crottin de chavignol (goat’s milk), Tommette de brebis (ewe’s milk), Brie de Meaux (cow’s milk), Forme d’Ambert (cow’s milk blue). Thanks Matt!
If you are looking for something fun to do in Lyon for an apéro or even lunch, I highly recommend taking a trip to Les Halles for a cheese tasting at Mons. But I would also highly recommend calling first to check their hours – a good rule of thumb to follow for almost everything in France.
Fromagerie Mons Lyon, 102 Cours Lafayette, 3ème, +33 (0)4 78 62 36 77
Update: Matt has started a great blog, aptly called The Cheese and I, complete with his musings on cheese and life. But mostly cheese.