The most famous French cheeses and where to find them
France is renowned the world over for its cheese, with more than 400 types of cheeses produced in the country. From brie and camembert to roquefort and comte, France produces some of the most delicious and sought-after cheeses. Take for example Pierre Rousselot’s eponymous ‘Rousselot’ from Meaux, a soft ripened cow milk cheese with a creamy texture that melts on your tongue – it has been described as one of the best examples of classic French cheese making craftsmanship.
Cheese lovers everywhere are eager to try these exquisite delicacies for themselves; however many may be unaware of where to find them. With this article, readers will learn about the most famous French cheeses and how they can access them in their own countries or regions. This guide will provide an overview of the different varieties available, including information on manufacturers who have achieved international recognition for their products. Additionally, details will be provided on online stores which offer delivery services across Europe and beyond.
The quality of French cheese production is unparalleled when compared with other nations – there really is something special about tasting a selection of French cheeses paired with a glass of wine or a flaky baguette. So why not take the plunge and explore what these amazing products have to offer?
Introduction to French Cheese
The French are renowned for their gastronomy and cheese is one of the most important components. A popular example of a French cheese is Brie, which comes from the Île-de-France region near Paris. This soft, creamy cheese has a buttery flavor that pairs well with many foods including fruits and breads.
French cheeses come in various shapes, sizes, textures and flavors; they can be hard or soft, mild or strong. There are four main categories: Soft and Creamy Cheeses; Hard Cheese Varieties; Blue Veined Cheeses; Goat’s Milk Cheeses. Each type has its own unique appeal and characteristics to suit different palates.
Soft and creamy cheeses are some of the most famous varieties such as Camembert, Reblochon and Boursin. They have an easily spreadable texture due to their high moisture content making them ideal for spreading on toast or crackers or melting over vegetables or meats. These types of cheese also boast aromatic flavours ranging from buttery to earthy notes depending on the variety chosen. Here are three reasons why soft and creamy cheeses make great additions to any meal:
- They’re easy to enjoy – no special cutting skills required!
- Their mild flavour makes them suitable for entertaining guests with diverse tastes
- Their versatility allows them to be used as ingredients in recipes such as quiches, tarts and gratins
These qualities highlight how even beginners can get creative when cooking with these delicious products of France.
Given their popularity throughout the world, it should not be difficult to find French cheeses at local markets or specialty stores near you. Alternatively, online retailers provide access to a wide selection of hard-to-find items so it won’t take long before you begin savoring your favorite French treats right at home! With this in mind, let us now turn our attention towards examining some specific examples of Soft and Creamy Cheese Varieties available today…
Soft and Creamy Cheeses
Soft and creamy cheeses are among the most well-known and beloved French varieties. A classic example is Brie de Meaux, a cow’s milk cheese made in Seine-et-Marne since the 8th century. It has a mild flavor with notes of butter and mushrooms, and its rind is edible. Other soft and creamy cheeses include:
- Camembert – a rich, white cream cheese from Normandy
- Coulommiers – a thick, crumbly cheese similar to Brie but with more robust flavors
- Reblochon – an Alpine cows’ milk cheese with nutty aromas
- Livarot – a washed rind cheese produced in lower Normandy that has an intense aroma
These delicious cheeses can be found at specialty food stores or online retailers around the world. Many supermarkets offer these types of French cheeses too, although they may not always have the highest quality ones available. For those wanting to get their hands on high-grade pieces, it’s best to visit local farmers markets or specialized shops where knowledgeable staff can advise customers about which type of cheese suits them best. Additionally, some restaurants serve variations of these popular French dishes like Croque Monsieur (a sandwich filled with béchamel sauce) as part of their menu.
The popularity of soft and creamy cheeses means that there is something for everyone when it comes to taste preferences. From the subtle sweetness of Brie de Meaux to the strong pungency of Livarot, this range of French delights offers plenty for connoisseurs who appreciate good food. Each variety brings its own unique nuances that make them all special in their own right; by exploring different kinds each person will find what works best for them personally. With so many options available, anyone looking to sample some authentic French flavour should consider trying out one or two of these incredible creations. With such delicacies readily accessible both domestically and abroad, making sure you try one before departing France is highly recommended! Having done so will guarantee your tastebuds take home memories that last long after returning home. Ready to move onto harder aged cheeses? Let’s go!
Hard, Aged Cheeses
The next tier of French cheese is the hard, aged cheeses. These cheeses are often left to age for a longer period of time than soft and creamy varieties, resulting in a firmer texture with deep flavors that can range from nutty to tangy. A good example of this type of cheese is Comte, which has been made since the 12th century in the Jura region of France.
Here are three common characteristics shared by most types of hard, aged French cheeses:
- They tend to have an intense flavor profile due to their lengthy aging process.
- They contain higher levels of fat compared to more mild-flavored alternatives like Camembert or Brie.
- Their rinds may be harder and thicker than softer cheese varieties.
Other notable examples include Cantal, Emmental de Savoie, Mimolette and Beaufort – all popular choices among those looking for something robustly flavored but still quite approachable on the palate. As these types of cheese require significantly more aging time (often up to several years), they usually cost much more than their counterparts that haven’t gone through such long maturation processes. Additionally, many specialty shops will carry limited stocks as they take up larger amounts of space in storage rooms and coolers with respect to other kinds of cheese products available there.
One further thing worth mentioning about hard French cheeses is how versatile they can be when it comes to pairing options; while traditionally used as part of charcuterie platters or served alongside wine for after-dinner snacks, some stronger varieties can also hold up very well when melted over dishes like macaroni and cheese or grilled sandwiches. With so many possibilities available, no wonder why these unique offerings remain highly sought after!
Moving ahead into the realm blue cheeses – another beloved variety amongst lovers of all things cheesy – we find ourselves amidst another wide array of delicious treats awaiting discovery…
It is no secret that France has a long and proud history of cheese-making. Among its most famous cheeses are the hard, aged varieties such as Comté, Beaufort, Emmental, and Gruyère. Now we will explore one of France’s other iconic categories: blue cheeses.
Take Roquefort for example. It is made exclusively in the South of France with sheep’s milk sourced from local farms in the area around Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. The caves where it is aged impart a unique flavor to this celebrated blue cheese which sets it apart from any others produced elsewhere. Here are some reasons why you should try it:
- It has a rich creamy texture and an intense salty taste;
- Its aroma combines notes of butter, nuts and mushrooms;
- It pairs beautifully with a variety of fruits and wines like pear or Sauternes for dessert.
Other notable French blues include Bleu d’Auvergne, Fourme de Montbrison, Picodon, Saint Agur and Persillé du Beaujolais – all distinctively different flavors but each one just as delicious as the next! With so many options available there is something for everyone when exploring these savory delicacies. To find out more about where to get your hands on them, keep reading…
Where to Find Famous French Cheeses
France is renowned for its abundance and variety of cheese. From the creamy Brie de Meaux to the soft Roquefort, there are a multitude of French cheeses that have become famous throughout the world. One example of a well-known French cheese is Comté, which originates from the Franche-Comté region in eastern France. The milk used to make this hard yellow cheese comes from cows grazing on grassy mountain pastures, giving it a unique flavour.
Those who wish to find some of these iconic cheeses need not look further than their local supermarket or speciality shop. In supermarkets, many will be able to find Camembert, one of the oldest known varieties of cheese originating from Normandy; Époisses de Bourgogne, made with raw cow’s milk and washed in Marc de Bourgogne brandy; and Mimolette, an orange coloured cheese made with pasteurized cow’s milk. Specialty shops often carry more unusual varieties such as Bleu des Causses (blue cheese), Fourme d’Ambert (a blue veined cow’s milk cheese) and Tomme de Savoie (semi-hard goat’s milk).
When looking for authentic French cheeses they should also take into account:
- Where it was produced – Cheesemakers located in specific regions may adhere more closely to traditional methods while others may use modern techniques resulting in varying levels of quality.
- How long it has been aged – Aging time can affect texture and flavour profile significantly so shoppers should select accordingly based on personal preference.
- Whether it is unpasteurised or pasteurised – Unpasteurised versions tend to retain deeper flavours whereas pasteurised ones are generally milder but still delicious nonetheless.
French cheeses offer something for everyone whether you prefer softer textures like Brie or pungent blues like Roquefort. With so much variation available there truly is nothing quite like enjoying a hunk of fresh French cheese paired with some crusty bread – un vrai délice!
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the difference between French and other cheeses?
French cheese is well known for its distinct flavor and texture, but it stands out when compared to other cheeses. Take the example of Brie de Meaux – a soft cow’s milk cheese from the region of Île-de-France. This type of cheese has an unforgettable flavour profile: creamy, buttery, mushroomy and nutty with just a hint of sweetness that can be attributed to its ripening process in wooden cases. The texture is also quite different than most other kinds of cheese; Brie de Meaux is much softer than many cheddar varieties or hard goat cheeses.
When comparing French cheese with others, there are several distinctions which make them unique. Firstly, France has been producing some sort of dairy product since ancient times – making it one of the oldest culinary traditions in Europe. Secondly, many French cheeses have specific regulations around their production and aging processes – such as AOC certification– that guarantee quality control and authenticity. And finally, French cheeses often originate from small producers who use traditional methods passed down through generations – resulting in complex flavors not found anywhere else.
These qualities are what sets French cheese apart from others on the market today:
- It comes from a long standing tradition steeped in history
- Its production is heavily regulated by strict standards
- It’s made using artisanal techniques passed down over centuries
All these aspects combine to create distinctive flavors and textures that cannot be replicated elsewhere – allowing consumers to enjoy something truly special every time they purchase French cheese.
How do I store French cheese after purchase?
When it comes to storing French cheese, there are certain precautions which need to be taken in order for the product to stay fresh and flavorful. As an example, consider a recently purchased Brie de Meaux from the local market. It is important that this cheese is stored correctly so as not to spoil its flavor or texture. To ensure optimal storage of French cheeses, here are some key tips:
- Wrap the cheese securely with waxed paper or parchment paper before refrigeration. This will help keep moisture out while retaining its flavors and aromas.
- Place the wrapped cheese on a plate or other surface rather than directly onto shelves in the refrigerator. The cold air may dry out the cheese if placed directly on metal surfaces.
- Store any leftover cheese away from foods with strong odors such as garlic, onions, and fish as these can easily permeate through packaging material and affect the taste of the cheese.
In addition to proper wrapping techniques and careful placement in storage containers, temperature control should also be considered when storing French cheeses. Refrigerators set at too cool temperatures can cause drying out of delicate cheeses such as Brie or Camembert, whereas warmer temperatures encourage mold growth which can ruin them altogether. Ideally, store French cheese between 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit (2-4 Celsius).
The type of container used for storage is also essential; tightly sealed Tupperware boxes work best as they prevent cross contamination from other food items while still allowing enough ventilation for air circulation within the box itself. When rewrapping leftovers after use, make sure all excess moisture has been wiped off first otherwise condensation could build up inside plastic bags causing further deterioration over time. Finally, always remember that like milk products, French cheeses have limited shelf life – consume them soon after purchase in order to enjoy their full flavor potential!
Are there any health benefits to consuming French cheese?
French cheese is a popular food item around the world, owing to its unique taste and texture. It has been used in numerous dishes from French Onion Soup to Croque Monsieur sandwiches. But aside from its culinary applications, are there any health benefits associated with consuming it? To answer this question, let us consider the example of Brie de Meaux; one of the most popular varieties of French cheese.
Brie de Meaux is made up mostly of full-fat cow’s milk, making it particularly high in fat content. Despite this fact, consuming Brie may actually provide some health benefits due to certain properties present within it:
- Brie contains probiotics that help promote healthy gut flora and aid digestion.
- Its high calcium content helps build strong bones and teeth.
- It also provides a natural source of Vitamin A which boosts immunity and aids skin health.
Furthermore, as with many other dairy products such as yogurt or kefir, eating a moderate amount of French cheese can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by helping lower cholesterol levels and regulating blood pressure. As an added bonus, studies have found that those who eat more than three servings per week of low-fat dairy products including brie have less body fat when compared to individuals who consume fewer portions each week. This suggests that adding small amounts of French Cheese into your diet could potentially be beneficial for weight management too!
Although further research is needed to fully understand all potential health benefits related to French Cheese consumption, we can conclude that incorporating small amounts into our diets may offer several nutritional advantages. Not only does it add flavor and variety to meals but it could also be beneficial for overall health if eaten in moderation.
Are there any specific food pairings that best highlight French cheese flavors?
Pairing food with French cheese is an art form that can bring out the best flavors of different varieties. For example, a rich Brie or Camembert pairs well with sweet fruits like figs or pears and salty accompaniments such as nuts and olives to create a balanced flavor profile. Moreover, creamy blue cheeses are often served alongside honey and jams for a combination of tangy and sweet tastes. To further evoke an emotional response in the audience, here is a list of three ideal pairings to highlight French cheese flavors:
- A mild Chevre goat cheese paired with crisp apples and walnuts
- An aged Comte combined with crunchy radishes and nutty bread
- A robust Roquefort matched with dried apricots, almonds, and crusty baguette slices.
In addition to these classic combinations, there are many other creative ways to enjoy French cheeses. From pairing them with fresh seasonal vegetables to adding them into recipes for added complexity – the possibilities are endless! Of course, one should always consider how individual tastes may influence what works best when it comes to selecting food pairings that will complement each cheese variety. Ultimately, experimenting with different ingredients allows gastronomes to find their own unique combinations which they can savor while appreciating the nuances of French cheeses.
Are there any regional variations in French cheeses available throughout the country?
When it comes to cheese, France is known for its wide variety of unique and delicious flavors. From the soft Brie de Meaux to the tangy Roquefort, there are many regional variations in French cheeses available throughout the country.
Take Comté, for example – a semi-firm cow’s milk cheese produced mainly in Franche-Comté region of Eastern France. Known for its nutty taste and smooth texture when young, this cheese can be aged up to 24 months or longer resulting in an intense flavor that pairs beautifully with fruits such as pears or apples. Similarly, Morbier hails from the Franche-Comté area and has fruity notes with a slight hint of bitterness due to its distinctive layer of ash running through its center.
The diversity of French cheeses means that each region offers something special and unique. Here are some key features of some of the most popular varieties:
- Brie de Meaux – Originating from Ile-de-France, this creamy cheese has a rich buttery flavour with subtle mushroom undertones;
- Reblochon – From Savoie/Haute-Savoie regions near Switzerland & Italy; this semi-soft washed rind cheese tastes mildly sweet with hints of hazelnut;
- Tomme de Savoie – This medium hard pressed raw cows’ milk cheese has earthy aroma and smoky flavours;
Given these unique characteristics, combining different French cheeses together allows people to experience a range of flavours and textures. With careful pairings chosen based on their distinct qualities, one can create truly memorable dishes that highlight the amazing flavours found across this beautiful nation.