Foraging for French cheese in Berlin, even at gourmet shops like KaDeWe or Galeries Lafayette, tends to yield only overpriced results that have sat around for too long. Thankfully, there’s now an alternative: online delivery service Brie et ses Amis!
Since December they have provided France and Germany with artisanal cheese, sourced from small farms all over France by a family of fromagers with generations of experience and delivered fresh (with ice packs) within 1-2 days. On their easily navigable website (in French and German only) you can choose from 50 cheeses a la carte, or let them select from over 200 seasonal varieties in a monthly subscription.
The classic version is €39 for 1-1.1kg – call Berlin-based founder Paula Kirchenbauer and she’ll help you customise it to fit your palate. The gourmand “surprise platter” (1.4-1.5kg for €56) we ordered contained four cow’s milk cheeses, one sheep and one goat. Disappearing first was the creamy Corsican sheep’s milk Saveurs de Maquis, its mouldy rind encrusted with rosemary and thyme, rendering a nice herbal flavour even if removed (it’s a matter of taste).
Golden, nutty Comté d’été (made from summer milk only) is fruitier and more flavoursome than any you’ll find on Berlin shelves. The soft cow’s milk Vacherin, produced on the Swiss border, would need some more maturing before it could be eaten the French way with a spoon, but is already rich and savoury with mushroomy tones.
The overall judgment from Exberliner’s French food expert? Best French cheese she’s had in Berlin in 12 years!
BRIE ET SES AMIS www.brie-et-amis.com