Most tourism offices look the same. Brochures. A few agents behind the desk ready to answer your questions. Some maps on the wall. You know the look.
Then there is French Cheese Board, which will have you looking up tickets on Air France before you can say "Fromage."
From the outside and even when you enter the front door (note the "Welcomté" welcome mat), you might think you're entering a traditional cheese shop. AU CONTRAIRE. (Sorry, no one really ever says that, but it worked here.)
French Cheese Board actually serves as a culture lab (pun intended), promoting the country's cheese industry. (France is home to more than 1,300 cheeses—the widest variety in terms of cheese families on earth.)
Aside from selling cheeses you usually can't find at your local cheese shop or even Whole Foods (which really does have a fabulous cheese section), French Cheese Board hosts a number of classes and events dedicated to tastings, pairings (with wine, beer, and spirits as well as other food), book launches, and more.
There is also a high table and area in the back of the store that can be used for private events, which is how I ended up there recently. We sampled five of the cheeses available at the end of August: Vachyrousse d'Argental, Tomme Corse, Bleu de Chevre (surprisingly mild for a blue!), Neufchatel, and Comte (much sharper than expected, but a welcome surprise).
That brings me to an important note: The wines and cider pictured here are not actually available at French Cheese Board. We brought these ourselves for a private event. The types of cheeses we would be tasting were informed to us before arrival, so we picked out each of the wines on our own to pair.
Bien sûr, all of the cheeses pictured here are available for purchase at French Cheese Board now. (Not an #ad—just a fact!) Between the comte, bleu de chevre, and the tomme (not to mention those quiche slices), I ate my weight in cheese that night. Honestly, I'd move in if they let me.