Over the years, I have gotten to know our famous cheese shop owner and have overcome my reticence of visiting her shop. Josianne Déal provided the cheeses for the Valentine’s Day dinner at La Lyriste, our friend's restaurant. For that matter, if you eat in just about any of the restaurants in town, the cheese they offer is probably from her store called Lou Canesteou fromagerie.
I now visit the shop regularly because there are so many varieties of cheese from which to choose and I appreciate the guidance from her and her staff. The first problem to overcome is to decide among the options for one style of cheese. Did I want the Comté that was aged 12 months, 18 months or 24 months? Did I want the Roquefort that was creamy or the Roquefort that was spicier to the taste? And then, of course, several of the cheeses are sold with the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) which means that the product is certified as coming from the region named on the label.
Last winter, I stopped in the cheese shop and Josianne waited on me. I told her that there was a difference between her shop and the cheese store where I shopped in
I explained that in Lansing,
the shop runs on a binary system: “Do you have Roquefort? Yes/No. Do you
have Morbier? Yes/No. Press 1 for
yes, 0 for no… Josianne smiled at me and said: “We have a few more options
On Saturday, I stopped at our cheese shop and asked for a half of a pound of Comté. (Hills Cheese is the most popular of all of the shops at the City Market. Hills has been a vendor at the City Market for more than 50 years. Their success is offering quality cheeses from across the world, not just
you go there on the weekend, expect to be third in line.) The young man that
served me brought me the piece of Comté
that he had cut and told me the price. I asked him if he knew how long it had
been aged (12, 18, 24 mos). He replied that he did not know but he was sure
that the Comté had come in a green
wrapper which meant that it was high-quality Comté; better than the Comté that
comes in the blue wrapper…