Showing posts with label France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label France. Show all posts


Beaufort d'Alpage

Haute-Savoie production area of Beaufort cheese
Beaufort d'Alpage is an alpine cheese from the Rhone-Alps region of France. The production area of the Beaufort covers the high mountains of Savoie in the three valleys Beaufortain / Val d'Arly, Tarentaise and Maurienne.
Tarine and Abondance cows
Beaufort is a very large cooked pressed firm cheese made exclusively with the raw milk of Tarine also called Tarentaise and Abondance breed of cows. These cows are agile and strong and perfectly suited for the rough terrain of the high pastures.

There are three different types of Beaufort; Beaufort, Beaufort d’été (which is a summer Beaufort) and Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage. Beaufort d'Alpage is only a small part of the summer production (about 10,000 wheels). Beaufort d'Alpage must be manufactured using traditional methods, in a mountain chalet that is 1,500 meters minimum above sea level and with the milk of a single herd of cattle. The AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) specifications impose an annual production limit of 5000 liters of milk per cow or a daily production of 16 liters. Keep in mind it takes about 500 litres (130 gallons) of milk to make a Beaufort of 45 kg (99 lb).

Wheels of Beaufort cheese
To make Beaufort, the milk is heated and then the curd is pressed into a beech-wood hoop mold which gives the cheese its distinctive concave shape on the side (heel) of the wheel. A large wheel of Beaufort can measure up to 76 cm (30 in) in diameter and 16 cm (6.3 in) in height. The wheels are aged for a minimum of 5 months to upwards of 12 months in a mountain cellar that maintains a high humidity and cool temperature.

Beaufort cheese
Beaufort d'Alpage is without a doubt one of the finest firm cheeses in the world. It has a wonderful aroma of milk, butter, flowers and honey. A young Beaufort will have a mild, fruity taste while an aged Beaufort has a stronger aroma and more complex flavours that linger on the palate.  The paste of a winter Beaufort has a pale whitish colour while the summer versions have a more yellow paste due to the cows munching on the alpine flowers. The chlorophyll from the grass and carotene from the alpine flowers give the summer cheeses its beautiful colour and grassy and flowery aromas. Beaufort is richer and creamier than other mountain cheeses.

An excellent way to serve Beaufort is with smoked salmon. It pairs nicely with a Chablis or a white Burgundy wine. Beaufort melts well and is a great choice for a cheese fondue. You must try the exquisite Fondue Savoyarde; made with equal parts of 3 cheeses from the Savoie region; Beaufort, Abondance and Tomme de Savoie.


Brebirousse d’Argental

Brebirousse d’Argental is a soft-ripened, bloomy rind, pasteurised sheep's milk cheese made in the Rhône-Alpes region of France.

Brebirousse d’Argental

Brebirousse d’Argental is an eye-catching cheese, it has a bright orange bloomy rind, which has been tinged with annatto (roucou). The creamy buttery ivory-coloured paste is rich and sweet. Brebirousse is aged one month, but as the cheese matures, nutty, earthy flavours develop into a stronger more complex flavoured cheese.

Brebirousse is available in two different square shaped sizes; a small 125 g and the larger 1 kg format that you will find at your favourite cheese shop.

Brebirousse d’Argental pairs nicely with a Sauvignon Blanc or a more delicate light bodied Pinot Noir.

Brebirousse d’Argental is made exclusively for Fromi Group by Fromagerie Guilloteau which is located south of Lyon along the Loire River in the small town of Pélussin, La Fromagerie Guilloteau also produce Chèvre d’Argental another eye-catching hexagonal shaped goat-milk cheese and the popular Le Fromager d’Affiinois an excellent double-cream cheese.


Crottin de Chavignol

Crottin de Chavignol (also known as simply Chavignol) is a very popular soft-ripened, raw goat-milk cheese produced in France's Loire Valley. Crottin de Chavignol received its name from the French commune Chavignol, where the cheese was first produced in the 16th century. Crottin de Chavignol received its AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controlée) designation in 1976.

Crottin de Chavignol

Crottin de Chavignol is a very small goat-milk cheese that can be enjoyed at various stages of maturity. When it is young, 2-4 weeks old, it measures about 2.5 cm (1 inch) in height and 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter and weights 115 grams (4 oz). At this young stage of life, it has an ivory-coloured rind with a distinctive crinkly surface due to natural yeast and geotrichum bacteria. The white cream coloured, uncooked, unpressed paste is compact yet soft, with a lovely creamy, nutty taste. 

Crottin de Chavignol is an ideal cheese as it can be enjoyed during its various stages of maturity; from a couple of weeks to 4 or more months producing a range of very different flavors. As the cheese ripens, the paste becomes crumbly, then turns dryer and more brittle and as the rind becomes dryer and rougher it also changes in colour from golden to a bluish gray colour, it also shrinks down in size to 40 grams (1.5 oz). As Chavignol matures, it turns into a much richer cheese, with a more pronounced flavour that is more robust, but never sours.

Alpine Goat
Crottin de Chavignol cheese is produced with the raw milk of the Alpine goat.

Crottin de Chavignol is a nice addition to any cheese platter but it is perfect when warmed or grilled and served over a salad. Crottin de Chavignol pairs beautifully with a white wine from the Vallée de la Loire such as a Sancerre or a sparkling Chenin Blanc or a Pouilly Fumé.

Alpine Goat Photo Source:


Petit Pavé Le Mellois

Petit Pavé Le Mellois is a delightful, small, soft, handmade goat-milk cheese from Poitou-Charentes, an area of France known for its butter and goat cheeses.

Petit Pavé Le Mellois

Petit Pavé Le Mellois is shaped into a small 5 cm (2") square, hence the name Pavé which represents a small paving stone. Le Petit Pavé weights 110 g (3.8 oz) and is made of raw goat milk. Le Petit Pavé has a fresh aroma of goat milk with accompanied notes of hay. The ivory coloured outside rind is dotted with small blue spots and the bright white paste is smooth and lusciously soft.

Le Petit Pavé can be appreciated at various stages of ripeness; when it is young, soft and fresh, when it is half dry and starts to develop slightly acidic notes and when it has ripened into a dryer, nuttier, more complex, sharper bite.

Le Petit Pavé is produced by Hélène Servant at Fromagerie Des Gors located in Melle, a commune in the department of Deux-Sèvres. The craftsmanship of the Fromagerie which has been established since the 1980’s is firmly anchored in the tradition of the region. Fromagerie des Gors uses the milk from goats that are grazing in Exoudun and in Sepvretin in Deux-Sèvres. 

As well as producing this Petit Pavé the Fromagerie des Gors produce other chèvres such as; the Chabichou du Poitou AOC/AOP, BriquetteMothais sur Feuille and they also produce an organic Mothais sur Feuille.

Petit Pavé Le Mellois pairs wonderfully with a French white wine such as Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé or a red Haut-Poitou Gamay.

Hélène Servant at Fromagerie Des Gors making Chabichou du Poitou

In some regions of France you have wine routes, Poitou-Charentes have a 'Route du Chabichou et des fromages de chèvre'; a 200 km route intended to discover the land of goat cheeses and their history with stops at dairies, cheesemakers, ranchers and farmers. Visit: Route du Chabichou

Route du Chabichou
Photo source:


Le Lingot

Le Lingot is a delicious raw goat-milk cheese from a small dairy Co-operative Les Gariottes in Alvignac in the former province of Quercy, in the French Midi-Pyrénées.

Le Lingot

Le Lingot has a distinctive bar-shape similar to a gold ingot, weighing 200 g (7 oz.). Le Lingot becomes increasingly creamy as it ages and its flavours become more intense.

Le Lingot soft creamy goat-milk cheese

Le Lingot has a lovely golden speckled, damp, wrinkly, natural rind with a smooth creamy white paste. Lingot is a flavourful cheese; it has the familiar tanginess of goat cheese with a nutty, piquant flavour, slightly earthy and a pleasant, salty tingle on the tongue to finish.

Le Lingot pairs nicely with more fruity red wines like a Burgundy or a Cote de Beaune.

Le Lingot is a beautiful chèvre that is handmade with the highest quality goat-milk, with no additives or preservatives.



Pérail is a lovely soft ripened pasteurised sheep-milk cheese from Aveyron in the Midi-Pyrénées region in southern France. The name Pérail is taken from a Languedoc term 'Peral' meaning fromage frais (fresh cheese).

Pérail pure sheep milk cheese

Pérail is a small 100 g (3.5 oz) circular flat disc measuring approximately 10 cm (4") in diameter.

Pérail has an ivory coloured wrinkly rind composed mainly of geotrichum candidum. The creamy white coloured paste is tender and soft.

This sheep milk cheese is rich and creamy with a pleasant aromatic flavour that is well balanced with its mild earthy undertones. Pérail pairs nicely with a Chardonnay or a French Chablis.

Pérail Papillon

This Pérail Papillon is produced at the Fromagerie du Lévezou in Villefranche-de-Panat in Aveyron.
Pérail cheese which is made by the lactic fermentation method is only made during a certain time of the year. During the winter, when the sheep herds cannot produce sufficient quantities of milk for the dairies to process to make Roquefort blue cheese, these wonderful pure sheep-milk Pérail are made.

Lacaune breed of sheep

The Lacaune which produce the milk for the famous Roquefort cheese are the most numerous sheep breed in France. Lacaune ewes produce milk with higher total solids than the East Friesians, but in slightly less volume.



Mimolette cheese is also known as Boule de Lille after its city of origin, Lille in Nord Pas de Calais, France. It is also known as vieux Hollande and in some areas of Belgium and the Netherlands Mimolette is known as Commissiekaas.

It is said that Mimolette was originally made by the request of Louis XIV, who was looking for a French cheese to replace the very popular Edam cheese from Holland. However to differentiate it from Edam, they coloured the cheese with annatto, a natural orange colorant.

Mimolette cheese

This 6 months aged Mimolette is produced by Isigny Sainte-Mère, a cooperative dairy located in Normandie, France.  The fame and fortune of Isigny Sainte-Mère was built on the unique flavour of its butter and the rich, silky texture of its crème fraîche. Isigny Sainte-Mère produces approximately 60% of the Mimolette in France.

Mimolette is a round shaped, uncooked, pressed paste, pasteurised cow's milk cheese, weighing 2.5 to 3 kg (5.5 to 6.5 pounds). Apart from its distinctive round melon shape, slightly flattened on top and bottom, Mimolette has a stricking bright orange coloured paste.

Mimolette can be eaten at various stages of maturity. A young, Mimolette (aged 3 months) has a moist semi-firm springy paste and rind.  With the semi-old (aged 6 months), old (aged 12 months) and extra-old (aged 18-24 months) the paste of the Mimolette darkens to a deeper pumpkin coloured hue and becomes much harder with age, sometimes even hard to chew.

Mimolette aged with crusty rind

The greyish-tan textured crusty rind on an aged Mimolette is the result of Acarus siro mites. The action of these living cheese mites on the surface of the Mimolette contributes to its peculiar appearance and distinctive earthy flavor and intense aroma.

Most cheese lovers will appreciate an aged Mimolette for its exquisite spicy, salty flavour and its wonderful lingering caramelized butterscotch finish. Mimolette pairs nicely with desert wines such as a French Banyuls.



Morbier is a raw cow-milk, semi-firm, washed-rind cheese with a distinctive vein of ash across the middle of the paste.

Morbier cheese is named after a small commune in the Massif du Jura in Franche-Comté in eastern France. Today both Jura and Doubs versions of the Morbier benefit from an AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée).
Morbier cheese dates back to the 19th century when it was originally made for personal consumption by cheesemakers of the French cheese Comté. The cheesemakers would use some of their leftover fresh curd after making their massive 100 lbs. wheels of Comté. They would sprinkle soot over the leftover curd as it rested overnight at the bottom of a barrel to keep insects away and to prevent a rind from forming until the next morning when more leftover pieces of cheese were put on top to complete what is Morbier cheese. A cheese that can be consumed in 45 days but an affinage of two months is more usual. Today the dark vein in Le Morbier made of vegetable ash is only decorative yet respectful to its origin. 

Montbeliard breed of cow
The milk used in the production of an AOC Morbier cheese must come exclusively from French Simmental and Montbeliard breeds of cow. Production may be artisanal, fermier, coopérative or industriel.
French Simmental breed of cow
Morbier is made in the shape of a large disc with bulging sides. The wheel measures approx. 40 cm (16") in diameter and 8 cm (3") in height, weighing about 9 kg (20 lbs.). The ivory-yellow uncooked, pressed, semi-soft paste with small holes is pliant. Although the golden brown washed rind has a pungent aroma, the cheese is relatively mild with hints of fruit and grass. Morbier melts beautifully, try it in your next raclette.
Morbier pairs nicely with Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer or a white Jura wine.


P'tit Sainte Maure

The Fromagerie Poitou Chèvre  who produce the P'tit Sainte Maure is located in the small sixth century village of Mothe Saint Héray, situated along the Sèvre River in the heart of southern Poitou, in the west of France.

La Laiterie Coopérative de la Mothe

In 1897 the local farmers of the area got together to create a cooperative dairy they called La Laiterie Coopérative de la Mothe. During the twentieth century, the dairy specialized in cheese production, especially in the production of goat cheese.
In 1996, the Fromagerie Poitou Chèvre took over the management of the dairy and focused on the traditional manufacturing of goat cheese like the Chabichou du Poitou and Mothais sur Feuille.

Goats from Poitou

The P'tit Sainte Maure is one of the newest additions of cheese produced at the Fromagerie Poitou Chèvre. It is a small version of the classic goat cheese Sainte Maure. It is a 170 g (6 ounce) log-shaped pasteurised goat milk cheese.

P'tit Sainte Maure

P'tit Sainte Maure is made with either an ash covered mouldy rind or a cream coloured bloomy ripened rind with a lovely soft white paste. The P'tit Sainte Maure cheese has a buttery and smooth texture with a nutty and slight tart flavour emerging from the edible rind.

The P'tit Sainte Maure pairs nicely with many white wines such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Sancerre.


Le Chevrot

Le Chevrot is an exquisite goat-milk cheese made in France's Vallée de La Loire.
Le Chevrot

Le Chevrot is produced by Sèvre et Belle, a small co-op created and run by people in the village of Celles-sur-Belle in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France. Through the 100 years Sèvre et Belle have been making goat cheese, they has remained faithful to tradition while constantly adapting to advances in technology. 

Le Chevrot is a small 5 cm (2") high 200 g (7 oz) goat-milk cheese that is produced in both raw and pasteurised milk versions. This chèvre is a "living" cheese, meaning the cheese continues to ripen when it is kept refrigerated at a temperature of 4-6°C.  When Le Chevrot is young it is soft, creamy and mild then as the cheese matures it becomes dryer and firmer and the characteristic goat taste is increased to perfection. A younger Chevrot pairs nicely with white wine and a more mature Chevrot is well appreciated with a bolder red.

Sèvre et Belle dairy also produces award winning barrel-churned butter and other goat milk cheeses among them Cabridoux and Le Chèvre d'Or.



Pico is a lovely pasteurized goat-milk cheese manufactured and refined in Périgord in the Aquitaine region of south-west France.
Pico de Périgord

Pico is a small 100 g (3.5 oz) chèvre that comes in its own cute little round wooden box. It is an uncooked, unpressed soft cheese with an elegant creased natural rind that smells of fresh hay. The soft paste and rind are cream coloured with slight golden streaks. 
Pico has a fine and smooth texture, a rich creamy buttery nutty flavour with a subtle goat tang. Pico pairs nicely with a fruity champagne or a sparkling wine.

Pico is produced by Fromagerie la Picandine in Saint-Astier. Picandine have been making fresh and refined goat-milk cheeses since 1990, among them the famous Cabécou du Périgord.



Why not offer cheese to your Valentine this year?

You can't go wrong with a cute heart shaped French cheese, good crusty bread and your favourite bottle of wine.
Neufchatel - Coeur De Bray

Neufchâtel - Coeur de Bray is a soft bloomy rind, cow’s milk cheese from the Pays de Bray located in the French region of Normandie. Neufchâtel received its AOC (Appelation d'Origine Controlée) designation in 1969.

Neufchâtel is believed to be one of France's oldest cheeses dating back to the Middle Ages. 

The white edible moldy rind of Neufchâtel is dry and velvety. The lightly pressed, uncooked, cream coloured pâte is firm yet supple and slightly grainy. After an affinage of 8 to 10 weeks, the mold starts flavouring the cheese leaving a pleasant mushroom aroma and a salty sharper flavour.

The popular shape for Neufchâtel cheese is the heart, but the AOC allows it to be made in six different sizes and forms of either briquette, cylindrical or square.

Neufchâtel pairs well with a nice Bordeaux red such as a Pomerol - Château Treytins.

Neufchatel - Coeur De Bray

Neufchâtel can be found as a farmer, industrial and artisanal cheese. Here is a list of the official AOC Neufchâtel producers in the France's Normandie region.

There are other heart-shaped cheeses that can be served on Valentine’s Day, such as the Coeur du Berry a lovely French goat-milk cheese.



Ossau-Iraty is a classic sheep milk cheese made in the French Pyrénées.


Ossau-Iraty has a natural rind with hues ranging from pale yellow, to golden-orange to light gray. The ivory colour pâte is an uncooked, pressed paste that is supple and creamy when young and becomes more firm and crumbly as the cheese ripens. Ossau-Iraty is creamy and buttery in the mouth with wonderful complex nutty flavours with hints of fruits and herbs.

The cheese's name Ossau-Iraty, reflects its dual origin: Ossau in the valley of Bearn, with its long history of Basco-Béarnaise breed of sheep, and Iraty the wooded hills of the French Pays Basque, home to the black and red-headed Manech ewes.

Basco-Béarnaise breed of sheep

Black-headed Manech sheep

Ossau-Iraty received its Appelation d'Origine Controlee (A.O.C) nomination in 1980. AOC stipulations for making Ossau-Iraty cheese includes, the production of a specific sheep milk of the region, the manufacture and ripening of the cheese and of course the exclusivity to the specific geographical area.

During the affinage process of Ossau-Iraty, the cheese must be salted, it is washed in a brine, which enables the cheese to form a rind, then the cheese is placed in a cave d’affinage with regulated temperatures between 6 to 15°C and a high humidity level of 75%. During the ripening stage, the cheese rinds are then brushed with salt and some are brushed with a purée de 'Piments d'Espelette', a red chili pepper purée.

Another stipulation by AOC is the cheese must be aged at least 120 days before consumption for wheels weighing 4 to 7 kilos and 80 days for the smaller wheels of 2 to 3 kilos. Fromagerie Agour one of Ossau-Iraty producers age their wheels anywhere between 4 to 17 months.

Fromagerie Agour located in the Basque village of Hélette, France produced the winning Ossau-Iraty that was crowned the World Champion Cheese at the World Cheese Awards in 2006 and again in 2011, in Birmingham, England.

Pictured above is Ossau-Iraty aux Piments d'Espelette. Espelette is a variety of chili pepper that is cultivated in the French commune of Espelette, in the Atlantic-Pyrénées. The Espelette pepper was classified an AOC product in 2000.

Ossau-Iraty pairs well with many wines, especially a white Jurançon or Sauvignon Blanc or a French red Madiran or Merlot.

Sheep photos source:


Grise Des Alisiers

Grise Des Alisiers is a semi-firm raw sheep-milk cheese from France.

Grise Des Alisiers

This farmer style cheese has a natural crusty gray speckled exterior rind. The cream color non-cooked pressed pâte with small crevasses is dense, rich with a nice creamy texture. This cheese has a well-developed but not too strong flavour, slightly sweet and nutty and leaves a lingering aftertaste that is distinctive to sheep's milk cheese.

Grise Des Alisiers can pair nicely with a French Pouilly-fumé or try it with one of Beau's Brewery Doc's Feet Dubbel.


La Tome de Chèvre Paul Georgelet

La Tome Georgelet is an artisanal ash covered goat-milk cheese from France.

La Tome de Chevre Paul Georgelet

The exterior rind is dry with a grey-blue mould covering its surface and has a musty odor. The interior cream coloured paste is lightly salty with a wonderful goat milk flavour that melts in the mouth.
Since this chèvre comes in the form of a small tomme of approximately 18 cm (7") diameter, the center (le coeur) of the cheese remains soft and creamy for a longer period. La Tome Georgelet can easily be enjoyed aged up to six months. Naturally, as the cheese ages the texture becomes firmer and the cheese flavours develop into more complex intensity.

Paul Georgelet

This excellent Tome de Chèvre is produced by artisan cheesemaker and farmer Paul Georgelet. As well as producing international acclaimed goat cheeses, Le Chabichou du Poitou and Le Mothais Sur Feuille, Paul Georgelet owns and operates an eighty hectares farm with five hundred goats. The farm and fromagerie Les Fromages de Chèvres Paul Georgelet is located in Villemain, a small commune in the department of Deux-Sèvres, in the Poitou-Charentes region of France.


Chèvre d'Or

Chèvre d'Or is a soft pasteurised goat-milk cheese shaped into a small 150 g (5.3 oz) disk. It has an almond coloured natural rind with spots of white mold.

Chèvre d'Or

Chèvre d'Or is a living cheese. It is not wrapped and can ripen slowly, gaining in character. The texture also develops from creamy soft to flaky as the cheese ages. Naturally the flavours also develop from smooth to powerful. After three weeks it becomes dry and crumbly.

This chèvre is best served at the end of a meal. It pairs well with a white Sancerre or Sauvignon Blanc when the cheese is young or a more robust red wine when the cheese is more mature.

Chèvre d'Or is produced by Sèvre et Belle, a small cooperative that was founded back in 1893, in the village of Celles-sur-Belle in the Deux-Sèvres department in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France.

At Sèvre et Belle, the principles of artisanal production are kept alive. In the manufacture of dairy products, the cheese makers use the ladle 'molding' technique: where the curds are collected using a ladle and placed in straining molds. The molds are then turned over three times by hand and then curds are removed from the molds.  The salting, maturing and packaging processes are carried out with the same meticulous precision.


Tommette Baies Roses

Tommette Baies Roses

Tommette Baies Roses is a fresh raw goat-milk cheese seasoned with a pinch of "Herbes de Provence" and sprinkled with pink peppercorns.  The peppery flavour reduces the acidity of the fresh goat milk cheese and leaves you with a delightful fresh and fruity aftertaste.

Tommette Baies Roses is a wonderful chèvre that can be served after a meal or in a salad or it would certainly add character to any cheese platter.

The Tommette aux Baies Roses cheese comes in a small 100g round shaped wooden box. It is produced by Fromageries de l'Étoile located in Haute-Provence, France.


Coeur Du Berry

Coeur Du Berry

Le Coeur Du Berry is a lovely French pasteurized goat milk cheese shaped in the form of a heart. Coeur Du Berry has a fresh white paste with a distinctive earthy tangy flavour and the ash covered rind leaves you with a pleasant smoky lingering taste.

This heart-shaped chèvre is a must for Valentine’s Day. Offer it as a gift or share it with your loved ones.
Available with a plain natural rind or ash covered.

Coeur Du Berry is produced by Fromagerie Jacquin in La Vernelle located in the south of La Loire in France.



Banon is a raw goat milk cheese fabricated in the village of Banon in the Haute-Provence Alps of France. The lovely 100 gram chèvre is presented wrapped in chestnut leaves and tied with raffia. 

Banon cheese wrapped

Le Banon cheese is golden cream coloured with a soft moist pungent uncooked un-pressed paste.  It has a nice sweet nutty taste with a lot of character.  Its unique flavor is developed when the cheese is matured in the chestnut leaves. Le Banon was awarded AOC status in 2003.  

Banon goat cheese unwrapped

Read more on: The conditions of production for Le Banon AOC:



Pouligny-Saint-Pierre is named after a small town in the Berry area of central France.

The Pouligny-Saint-Pierre goat cheese is distinctive, being pyramidal in shape and golden brown in color with speckles of grey-blue mould, and is often known by the nicknames "Eiffel Tower" or "Pyramid". Its delicate and dry crust is covered by a superficial grey-bluish mould that develops with age. The central pâte is bright white with a smooth, crumbly texture that mixes an initial sour taste with salty and sweet overtones with a slight “caprine” odor.
Pouligny-Saint-Pierre received AOC status in 1972.