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The art of cheese is not only about making the cheese, it is about giving the cheese all the opportunities to become exceptional. Like wine, if cheese is not matured in perfect conditions, it won’t be able to achieve its full potential. This process takes a shorter amount of time than wine, so it is even more critical as cheese mongers have only a few weeks to a few months to achieve perfection. This maturation process is called “affinage” or refining. It takes place in affinage caves.
The Mons family has three affinage caves around the city of Lyon, the French capital of gastronomy. Each of these caves is tailored specifically to each type of cheese.
All cheeses are carefully refined, with daily monitoring of the right amounts and quality of yeast, mold, fungi and bacterium responsible for a perfect cheese maturation.
Every quarter, Hervé Mons makes a selection of cheeses for the season, with monthly variations depending on availability and weather. This selection features multiple types of cheeses, from hard to soft, cow to sheep.
These selection comes in multiple sizes:
The Mons Family has been a pillar of the French Cheese World since the 60’s, and the Mons Company is the only cheese company with two Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsmen of France) in their team (Hervé Mons won in 2000—the first ever Cheesemonger to win the MOF, and Etienne Boissy in 2004). Only 23 cheesemongers have won the MOF distinction.
Maison Mons is recognised all over the world to be one of the best cheesemongers. The Mons family is so committed to the practice of affinage that they even have an academy where they train aspiring affineurs to carry forth the craft.
Cheeses (except brined ones in jars) should be stored in the crisper or the butter drawer of a refrigerator, not on the shelves themselves. This is to help regulate their temperature and humidity levels—and prevents the formation of mold. Once opened, they should not be kept in their original packaging. Soft cheeses with delicate rinds need to breathe, so they are best placed in glass containers lined with paper towels to absorb extra moisture. Leave the lid open a tiny bit for air to circulate and don’t forget to write up a label with the date you first opened the package. Kindly pay attention to the best before date label when you receive your cheese. Consume prior to date indicated