Did I mention I love good cheese? If you are in San Diego, the Cheeses of Europe, are doing a cheese pop-up store in Fashion Valley, today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Yes, it already started!!
My daughters couldn’t wait to dig into my modest haul of breton butter, Comte, and Pont l’Eveque, which we enjoyed for one of our breakfasts today. (We eat like hobbits.) We ate our bread french style, with a thick slice of salted butter AND a slice of Comte. The Comte tasted exactly like how I remembered it from the Cheese Shop in Carmel when I was a kid. The vendor explained that the strict guidelines ensure that the exact way it is made, from the type of cow, it’s feed, the terroir, stay exactly the same, which ensures a very reliable product.
Sponsored by the European Union, several producers are highlighting different french cheeses, mostly made from cow-milk, and fresh butters…. yum. Yes, there are samples. A LOT of samples. And to complement them, the group will be offering pairings with french red and white wines, and local brews from Green Flash’s Cellar 3. Yup, free food AND free drinks.
That was enough to bring me down to Fashion Valley with a friend. But we were surprised to see that they were also selling the cheeses and butters at what they call “entry level” prices. I call it crack prices. The first hit is free. The second is at a surprisingly low price, and then you are hooked. Most were less than a third or a half of retail prices, and some are still very hard to find in the U.S.
Some favorite bries, camemberts, etc. are easy to find in grocery stores, others require a trip to a cheese shop such as Venissimo or the Cheese Shop of San Diego, and still other discoveries are not even sold in the country yet! We loved hearing more about the smelly Epoisses, the mite-covered Mimolette, and the bleus, ranging from an incredibly mild Saint Agur, to the robust, Roquefort.
The booth is set up in the open center of Fashion Valley, on the ground floor, in front of Macy’s. Look for a giant cow and signage regarding the proper way to cut the cheese. And be inspired by the cheese haul of my friend below.
Go just to taste the freebies, or score a deal for an epic cheese party!