Pasteurized Cheese in Paris

Old Dec 28th, 2014, 06:09 AM
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Pasteurized Cheese in Paris

I need some help, we will be traveling to Paris next year and of course love French Cheese BUT we know have a catch. My husband has had a kidney transplant and cannot have unpasteurized cheese, raw fish or meat. So my question, is it possible to get good pasteurized in Paris? Are we forces to buy it at the larger grocery stores or can we go to the smaller shops ?
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 08:05 AM
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Any supermarket will have cheeses that are pasteurized, and it will say so on the label.
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 08:15 AM
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Pasteur was French (just to avoid a potential Bushism)
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 09:37 AM
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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Most French cheese is pasteurised. If it isn't, it is marked "au lait cru" (made with raw milk) on the label. These are always more expensive than the pasteurised cheeses because they have a shorter shelf life.

In a restaurant, if there is a cheese course, just tell the waiter "pas de fromage au lait cru."
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 09:46 AM
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Assuming you don't speak French, to say "pasteurized" in French you say "pasteurisé", and any cheesemonger will understand you. You could even add "seulement" -- which means "only" -- to make yourself clear that you are only shopping for pasteurized cheeses. Does this include unpasteurized butter?

But if you don't speak French and plan to eat in restaurants, I think you probably would be well advised to have a card that says in French precisely what your husband cannot eat and why. So much cooking in French restaurants runs toward experimental or trendy, and incorporates cheeses and butters and milks, or now fish pastes in "fusion" places, you should just put the worry to rest. I cannot help but think every waiter will take such a card quite seriously and steer you away from any problem areas if they exist. If they don't, leave the restaurant!
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 09:58 AM
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By the way, my French is unreliable -- it doesn't get much practice anymore -- so perhaps someone here can come up with a better phrase to communicate with a cheesemonger. But I don't think you are restricted to supermarkets if you can tell the sellers in a small shop or open market that you are only interested in buying unpasteurized products.
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 10:03 AM
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I meant "pasteurized products"!!! (Even my English is getting unreliable from lack of practice too!)
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 10:13 AM
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I assume that the cheese/meat/fish interdiction is due to the risk of salmonella, etc. rather than the actual product itself. Visitors should know that food sanitation in the EU is extremely strict compared to the United States and there is much less of a risk of any kind of contamination. So if your husband eats anything by accident, there is probably no reason to rush to the emergency room immediately.
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 10:54 AM
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Kerouac, beyond salmonella, there is the possibility of contracting brucellosis with unpasturized cheese and other dairy products. V. unpleasant. Had it for three mos.
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 11:06 AM
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Yes, well that's why I added the "etc." not being a disease expert. Chances are much lower in France than in many countries, but it is absolutely true that even in France, pregnant women are told not to eat raw cheeses, so obviously a certain amount of risk is present.
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 11:27 AM
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E. coli and listeria -- or any food borne illness -- can be a problem, I think, for people who have had a kidney transplant. I agree that Europe has more of a handle on food production than many other industrialized (or un-industrialized places) and presumably the OP is already familiar with maximum protection strategies.

But I do think having a French-language card underscoring the importance to waiters, if eating out sometimes is in the plans, is advisable -- not because I think French food has a higher risk of contamination, but because French people get kidney transplants, too, and waiters and other food vendors know that this is important and will take extra care to help you avoid the things you should avoid.

When you are traveling, if you don't speak that country's language fluently, menus can be confusing -- even translated menus -- and downright worrying if you aren't sure what ingredients were used to prepare a dish. Worse still is to order something you thought was safe, only to discover it is covered in a sauce that you aren't sure you should eat -- so you don't eat it to be on the safe side!

French waiters and shop owners have a reputation for being rather severe or opinionated (sometimes Italians too). I don't want to argue those issues but do want to assert my belief that just about any waiter or food seller in any country who is alerted to a medical condition will take it very seriously. Any whiff that they don't, I say 'walk out' -- but I don't imagine it would come to that. Everybody has a granny or child or loved with some food no-no's, so food professionals are not stupid or insensitive to these issues.
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Old Dec 29th, 2014, 10:21 AM
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true, but French waiters don't all have PhDs in food science nor medical degrees, they may not even understand this issue at all. The main issue is cheese, right? You don't have to order cheese in restaurants, I never do, it's just not something I eat with dinner. I might order a cheese omelet but could easier order a different kind if I were concerned about cheese.

The raw meat or fish should be easy to not order.
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