A Cheese Tour of France That You Can Get at Dwelling

VINCENT VERGNE, my nearby cheesemonger in the southern French metropolis of Nîmes, provides a option for any one pining for France: a cheese board. “French cheeses are not only a big section of the country’s gastronomic glory,” claimed Mr. Vergne, “but a effectively-composed variety can notify France’s historical past [with] edible monuments to Gallic ingenuity.”

It’s minimal surprise that Mr. Vergne—awarded the coveted title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Greatest Craftsman of France) in the fromage class in 2019—is a massive booster of curds and whey. “It’s like profitable the Olympics,” said Mr. Vergne, referring to the title, as he arranged his wares in the shop’s glass-fronted situations right before opening early on a recent winter season morning. These awarded the MOF title wear immediately recognizable white jackets with stand-up crimson-white-and-blue collars. In the jacket pocket, Mr. Vergne keeps the handsome golden medal he gained in a ceremony at Paris’s La Sorbonne in Might 2019, the previous time the levels of competition was held.

Mr. Vergne is a second-era fromager. In 1977, his mom and dad opened their very first cheese stand in Les Halles de Nîmes, his city’s lined marketplace. At 14, he claimed, he discovered his contacting for the trade when he accompanied his father on a go to to a producer of Reblochon cheese in the Savoie area. “The farmer confirmed me how milk was remodeled into the curds from which cheese is manufactured, and it struck me as a sort of magic.”

I’ve been an enthusiastic patron of Fromagerie Vergne—he has two shops now, which include the 1 on Avenue Georges Pompidou in Central Nîmes and the greater one particular in Les Halles de Nîmes—since I ditched my Paris apartment soon after the 10-week Covid lockdown previous spring to experience out the rest of the pandemic in my stone residence in a small village just exterior Nîmes. Like numerous persons in this strange, stress filled time, I have found sustaining solace in tasty food. But the cheeses I get from Fromagerie Vergne provide a different intent much too: They are delectable reminders of the country’s other locations, a way to vacation about France with out traveling.

At my ask for Mr. Vergne designed a miniature Tour de France, a selection of 5 of his preferred cheeses, each individual from a unique location but all out there in the U.S. Nibble on them now with the hope that someday soon, you can journey again to France and head straight to the resource.