Yet Another Reason to Love Paris: My Friend Helene

I love everything about this email.  I love that Helene knew that as soon as I hit town I’d head for the cheese shop.  I love that she didn’t want me to have too much cheese, a situation worse than having too little, since nothing as precious as cheese should ever be wasted.  And, of course, I love that she had shopped for me.

When I saw Helene last night, here’s what she handed me


This is cheese from our favorite cheese vendor at the Sunday market, the organic one, on the Boulevard Raspail.  The cheesemaker is Philippe Gregoire and his cheeses, labeled Elevage du Corbier, are made with milk from the goats, sheep and cows that graze on his farmland in Burgundy. 

There is never a Sunday when I am in town that I don’t visit Philippe Gregoire and come away with exactly these three cheeses: the large round is a fresh, soft cow’s milk cheese, and the two smaller rounds are actually the same goat cheese, but one is older (and therefore firmer and fuller flavored) than the other.  To round out the package, Helene included another of my favorites,  Philippe Gregoire’s yaourt brebis, sheep’s milk yogurt, which is rich, thick and tangy and good with everything from raw vegetables to apples and pears.

And, as if this goody bag wasn’t enough, it held another surprise: cookies from a new pastry shop

Carlo_marletti_cookies_3  The shop, named for its chef, is Carl Marletti, and it’s on the rue Censier near the rue Mouffetard, the city’s legendary market street.  I haven’t been there – I can’t even raise a reference to it on google – but I’ll track it down just for these cookies.  The edges of the cookies taste and melt in your mouth as though they are made of butter, and only butter.  They’re incredibly fragile, but also crisp.  Then there’s the center of the cookies – a translucent caramel with nuts.  I’ve never seen cookies like these, neither here nor in the States (if these look familiar to anyone, please, please, tell me!), but I’d be happy to see them everywhere.

I’ll be going to Marletti, for sure, and I’ll bring back an address and pictures.  Also on my must-see list is Philippe Conticinis new patisserie on the rue du Marche Sainte Catherine.  More about that, too.  In the meantime, thanks to Helene, I’ve got some delicious munching to do.