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Paris Shopping Tips: Meet My New Favorite Big Cheese!

Marie France (May 1954) Cover by Denis Manceaux Photos by Theadora Brack

Love at first dreamy bite

By Theadora Brack

With the bright sun in my eyes, here’s a full confession. Lean in as I whisper, see.  I’ve got a new favorite cheese in my life. Love is in the air. So grab a ball point pen. Hear my yarn!

Meet Brillat Savarin

Butter. Brillat. Butter. Brillat. That’s what he said.

Thank my cheese monger friend Ishai (extraordinaire!), for introducing us to this very velvety, voluptuous beauty. I’m a fool for fresh salted butter, so for me it was love at first bite. In fact, I squealed. Read my hips. This decadent triple cream cheese from Rouen contains a whopping 75% butterfat and about 40% fat overall.

Yes, this little piggy will be returning to the market for more. Tip! I recommend serving it with a sparkling wine or a palate-cleansing beer. The carbonation will cut the fat, while enhancing its milky mushroom flavor.

Marie France (August 1956) Cover by Denis Manceaux

Visiting Paris?

Sample Brillat Savarin as a fresh young’un. For the love of cream cheese or ice cream, you won’t be sorry. It tastes buddah!

What’s in a name?

Here are a few historical tidbits to help pump up your plateau de fromages and cocktail party conversation. Created in the 1930s by Henri Androuët, he named the cheese after 18th century French gastronomic guru, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.

A master of words and cuisine, B-S is responsible for such gems as: “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are” and, “A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.” (Huh?)

In the mood for love

Celebrating photographer Denis Manceaux, I’ve also included a few of his fab Marie France covers from the 1950s. His giddy work never fails to lift my spirits.

Pinching from Holly Golightly: If I could find a place to make me feel like the a Manceaux cover, then I’d buy some Ikea furniture and give the cat a name!

Here’s another little secret: I often find stacks of vintage magazines like Marie France, Elle, and Marie Claire at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market for just a few euros of pop. Smooth Sailing!

Marie France (September 1956) Cover by Denis Manceaux

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53 thoughts on “Paris Shopping Tips: Meet My New Favorite Big Cheese!

  1. Looks and sounds devine…………I can almost smell the richness……and nobody likes a beautiful one-eyed woman…..what??!!? Brillant Savarin it will be ………hope I can find it in the culinary desert of Texas! Guess what ……..off to Italy for a week on Saturday! yippee………..wish it was France!

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    • Merci!! Enjoy your globe trekking. Pack your camera!! Again, I’m looking forward to your reports from field, along with your gorgeous photographs. Bon Voyage!! Theadora

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    • Thank you! I do love the word “giddy.” (I also like “smitten.”)

      To spoil antiquities of hammer’d steel,
      And turn the giddy round of Fortune’s wheel
      —Shakespeare

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  2. Mouth watering, I am also a lover of a good salted butter, we used to spread it on traditional NY style ‘crumb buns’, when my familiy woned a delicatessan years ago. I still find myself doing that.
    Now I HAVE to go eat something ….

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    • Yes, crumb buns! I’ll have to add them to my New York to-do list. Maybe Katz’s? Now, my mouth is watering! Theadora (Where was the family delicatessen located?)

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      • It was on Long Island in the 60’s. Farmingville when Long Island was still potato farms The baker we used was named Fontanna’s Bakery in Rocky Point, he used to deliver them in bakers trays every couple of days. I can still smell them …

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      • Spent many hours shopping in Smithtown before the malls came to LI. That whole area is beautiful but so over populated now. Like billy Joel says in Downeaster Alexa – there ain’t no Island left for Islanders like me – We left in 1999. How did you end up in France?

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  3. Ah, YUM…to the Brillat Savarin!

    And the 50s mag covers? Quite informative. I, myself, remember the 50s here in the states quite well…an awful time, except for the coming of Elvis. US fashion was horrendous…June Cleaver cleaning house while wearing a shirt-waist and pearls. We never did get to meet her hairdresser, did we?

    Merci beaucoup, Theadora, pour la poste!

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    • I hear you! But I do adore photographer Denis Manceaux’s work. I love how he plays with light and water. I’m happy to spread the word about him. Stay tuned for more posts about magazine photographers and illustrators. Here’s to another obsession and celebration! Theadora

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  4. Oh my, a friend after my own heart. Love, love, love cheese and will have to seek this one out. Brilliant pics, btw and a refreshing and yummy post today!

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    • Thanks, Brigitte! Brillat Savarin really knocked my socks off! I quite surprised. Today I discovered another new favorite. It’s orange. It’s sweet. And it’s spectacular! Theadora

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  5. This looks so wonderful Theadora! There is nothing better than opening my reader to a giant picture of yummy cheese! xo!

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  6. Oh my giddy aunt! That sounds divine.
    Love the B-S quotes too- might try to start a clairvoyant career with the tell me what you eat thing. It’s so true!

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    • Oh, yes. That B-S was a character! His Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste) was published in December 1825. It is still in print! Amazon.com even stocks it! Theadora

      Here’s another B-S quote for the road.
      “A man who was fond of wine was offered some grapes at dessert after dinner. ‘Much obliged,’ said he, pushing the plate aside, ‘I am not accustomed to take my wine in pills.'”

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  7. I love brie.
    And I am sure I am going to love this triple cream Brillat Savarin!!!
    OMG, France has the best cheese in the world!!!!
    I always wanted to visit Rouen too.
    Maybe next time I can visit the town and sample their best cheese. 🙂

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  8. Your post makes me want to eat cheese! Can’t get that lovely looking stuff here. Have to settle for cheddar! Great post, as always! 🙂

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  9. I love butter! I’m making a list of all the wonderful things you bring up in your posts so that I won’t forget to do them all when I get out there again. I’d love to feel like these Manceaux covers. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Sheila, What kind words!! Theadora (I also love the cover shots. I’ve officially started collected magazines, featuring the fab work Denis Manceaux. Another day! Another obsession!)

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  10. So surreal, those old magazines. Were things really that happy, that innocent, that brightly colored? Waah! I want to go back! Except not back to 1950s dentistry or untreated city water–the present-day age does have a few good things about it, I guess. Not least is good internet connections with the chance to see things like this. Thank you!

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  11. Some special atmosphere about those old magazines. Now a pity that you have thrown away so many goldcorns! Ann

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  12. Sounds yummy! Although I eat mostly vegan, I break (yes, correct spelling) for a great cheese, since there are no good vegan substitutes. You need to get over to Cleveland and come by the farmers market so I can give you samples of the cheese I help sell there, amazing chevres from Mackenzie Creamery, http://www.mackenziecreamery.com/. The new Baby Buche (aged lightly) is so amazing and compares to many chevres I’ve had in Provence. (I can even offer you a place to stay. 🙂

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