The wine boom in Japan throughout the 90’s did more than bring the price of imported wines down… it also indirectly introduced millions of Japanese to the taste of European cheeses. Still, most supermarkets only carry processed pizza/toast topping “cheese”, so finding a decent brie, gruyere, or edam isn’t easy. Au Gourmand, located in Yakuin, stocks over 200 natural cheeses of which nearly seventy percent are French, followed by Danish and Italian. Most of the staff are licensed “Cheese Professionals” ready to offer customers advice; or try the samples and decide by yourself. The prices are clearly marked, and orders of 100 grams or more are cut and wrapped in minutes. The 18 month old mimilet is the current favorite, while the water Buffalo Ricotta is one of their most unusual (¥1,755/200g). They also stock a selection of fine delicatessen goodies such as olive oils, natural salts from France, European crackers, and cold cut meats. Anyone for a home party or fondue?
1F Yakuin Parking Bldg., 1-12-32 Yakuin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Open: 11:00 ~ 20:00, ~ 20:30 (Sat.)
Address: 1F Yakuin Parking Bldg., 1-12-32 Yakuin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Prices: Free parking with purchases over ¥1,000, mimilet ¥441/100g, Gourmand Party Variety Set ¥1,260
Originally published in Fukuoka Now magazine (fn106, Oct. 2007)