Say brie mine to Emile & Solange | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Say brie mine to Emile & Solange

Imagine you’re wandering through an alleyway in Paris, and you come across a small but homely cheese store. Inside, you’re greeted by the charming owner with her thick French accent, as you marvel at the selection of cured meats and the cabinet of cheese that takes up most of the store, then taste everything you possibly can before leaving with a large paper bag filled with fromage and quince paste. Then imagine no longer, because this dream is now a reality, thanks to the opening of Emile and Solange in Albion! Don’t be fooled by the tiny store hidden away in the Vielle Branche complex, as you’ll soon realise that the selection of Australian and imported French cheese on offer is what dreams are made of. In fact, we’ve got cheese cravings just thinking about it. Far beyond your average selection of stinky cheddar, blue, brie and camembert, this store has more variety than you thought existed – and probably ever tasted. If you’re a fan of blue, their selection spans the palate from sharp, salty and acidic to smooth and mild. The Forme D’Ambere is a great introduction into the world of mottled fromage without assaulting the senses, and a fantastic option to liven up a salad or showcase a home-made cheese board Enjoy soft cheese like brie and camembert? We definitely recommend the Fromage de Meau, with a tart but creamy centre just begging for a toasted baguette – and a glass of champagne to accompany it of course. There’s cheddar with hints of hazelnut, plenty of soft and medium firm cheese, and the lusciously soft mini wheels of ‘Le Crottin’ goat cheese which will have you convinced it’s secretly a camembert in disguise. All of this comes with the added benefit of being able to buy weights to your choosing, so you can forgive yourself for buying a small selection of each (or half a kilo of brie, we don’t judge). If you can bear to tear yourself away from the cheese cabinet, the shelves are stocked with caramel sauce, crackers and other French tidbits to accompany your selection. Take it from us though, the quince paste is a must-buy. Complete your antipasti board with a selection of their sausages and preserved meats and prepare to have your friends and family believe that you’ve secretly just come back from holidaying in the south of France. Emile and Solange is a tiny but wonderful piece of France, right here on the north side. Perfect for impressing your home dinner guests, but even better if you grab a coffee from Vielle Branche next door and take your haul to the park across the road for the perfect palatable picnic. C’est magnifiques! You’ll find them at 10 Fox Street Albion. Words by Kat Gridley