I was born in Grenoble, a city in the French Alps, with a strong cheese culture.
I can’t remember the first time I went to the cheese shop “Les Alpages” but what I know is that each time, it’s a pleasure of the senses.
The shop is not that big but proposes over 150 cheese types.
If you go there, you can be sure of being the witness of a show performance: Bernard the owner and his famous moustache talking about cheese, making jokes, having you try cheese and asking if you can taste the purée of persimmons in the piece of cheese you’re chewing.
Going there without trying something new sounds impossible. Bernard, always looks for unusual products: eg. cheese produced only some specific time of the year at a specific height (Beaufort d’alpage), cheese produced only by 6 farmers (bleu de Termignon). Last time I went there I tried whiskey cheddar and Guinness cheese...
Bernard has received the worldwide award for best cheese monger in 2007 (Caseus Award), he received many other distinctions including “meilleur ouvrier de france”.
In Winter, the shop is always full of people asking for raclette (cheese used for melting) with 5 different types of cheese.
My advice ? If one day, you stop near by, go there and ask for comté 30 months (it has salt flakes inside), mimolette extra vieille, some picodon (goat) or brillat savarin with truffles. There are so many to try but those ones are my favourite …
Last : you can order online the cheese tasting box of the month. Each month you can receive at home a selection of cheese with the explanations. Or, if one day you have some people at home and want a nice tray, they prepare trays between 15€ and 31€. The tray is nicely prepared, it goes without saying that the price/quality/look ratio is competitive compared to the supermarket.