A Strasbourg fromagerie has released a special advent calendar containing 24 different locally-produced cheeses originating from a range of different countries.
The Maison Lorho claims that it is the first ever to offer these cheesy gifts in the same way as chocolate advent calendars.
The fromagerie’s unusual advent calendar is A3 size, 5cm thick and weighs 1.1kg and was suggested by regular customers coming into the historic Maison Lorho shop in Strasbourg (Grand-Est).
“It felt important for us to do it. There is the same feeling you get when you open the little boxes to find your chocolate,” said Cyrille Mohr, spokesman for the Maison Lorho.
Maison Lorho began developing the idea in 2018, following a marketing campaign where they advertised one cheese for each day of December on social media in a virtual calendar.
Customers who followed the campaign then asked the shop staff whether it would be possible to buy a physical version of this calendar.
While cheese calendars do exist already, they are often sold as a single box containing different cheeses in numbered packages, so they do not have the same surprise factor as a traditional advent calendar.
“We have made a real calendar in a traditional format, with boxes to open,” Mr Mohr told The Connexion.
Each piece of cheese weighs around 50g and are all cherry-picked from two of Maison Lorho’s Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) employees.
The MOF is a medal awarded to the best craftsmen in a particular field. Maison Lorho advised to keep the calendar in the fridge.
The calendar’s 24 treats include smoked Munster they called ‘Fumster’ – a blend of ‘fumé’ (smoked) and Munster – a goat’s cheese from an award-winning Italian cheese producer with “chocolatey notes”, and a ‘Tomme de la Ligue’ with red-tea flavours.
“And there is even a surprise Christmas bauble to be found. The person who finds it will win a three-month subscription for a gourmet box of cheese each month.”
Cyrille and Christelle Lorho set up the Maison Lorho in 2011, and since then the business has won several awards, including Meilleur(s) Ouvrier(s) de France, Fromager-Affineur. They sell 250 different products in their shop, which they hope provides an “open, convivial and tempting” welcome to customers.
Mr Mohr said that the calendar is proving to be more popular than expected, and Maison Lorho is considering expanding its delivery offering to foreign countries such as the UK or Germany.
The calendars can be bought until November 25, either in store or online. They cost €79.90 and should be kept in the fridge.