Cool Italian establishments are filling the French capital, and Parisians are flocking to them.
When Julien Carotenuto, a Parisian of Italian heritage, abandoned his retail career to pursue his dream of making fresh mozzarella for his hometown, the predictions were dire.
“People told me, ‘you’re crazy,’” he recalled on a recent afternoon. “In Italy, everyone said that I would never pull it off. Even my friends and family said it would be very hard.”
After all, who could possibly imagine that refined palates from Roquefort-laden, Brie-loaded France — the king of cheesemaking nations — would possibly be tempted by a humble foreign interloper?
But Mr. Carotenuto, 33, churned ahead. He studied cheesemaking in Italy. He hired a veteran cheesemaker, Franco Picciuolo, whose father and grandfather had also plied the trade. He even found a French farming cooperative with buffaloes to provide milk for real mozzarella di bufala. When he landed a storefront in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, his operation, Nanina, went live. [read more]