A trip to France would be a requiem if you fail to savour the renowned French Cheese. Here is, all you need to know about the perfect fromage of your taste.
Cheese is the heartthrob of the French Cuisine. Such is its privileged status that it is served as a separate course, usually between the Main Course and Dessert. It is indeed quite a pleasure to the palate, when the delicate cheese is, shared with a glass of wine or green salad.
‘How can you govern a country with two hundred and forty six varieties of Cheese?’ Charles De Gaulle could not be more wrong. He would never have thought that the number would just keep rising. The speciality of French Cheese is their uncountable regional varieties.
The French prides in the cheese they produce and is often estimated in par with the region that it is from. One needs to make sure that the cheese you ordered is accredited by AOC, as it attests to the standard of the cheese and confirms that the traditional method of the production process has been followed by that particular region. These ten famed French Cheeses will grant you a slice of heaven.
- Le Beaufort
Cradled in the Alps, the Beaufort is famed as a hard cheese frothed from raw cow milk. Carefully prepared only in the summer, using the milk of a single herd, it is a pride of the Gruyere family and has the distinct quality to melt quite easily, despite being a hard cheese. The playful flavour of the cheese is brought out well with a preferred white wine of your choice.
Named after the humble village of its origin in Northern France, the Maroilles was a particular favourite of French Royalty. Its earliest trace is rooted in the 7th century and is one of the oldest Cheeses in the world. This strong yet soft cow’s–milk cheese acquires a unique orange texture and strong scent. It’s normally considered as the last bite in a meal and pairs well with French Cidar or Champagne.
Embraced by the Auvergne region of central France, the Cantal is perhaps the oldest Cheese which dates back to the Celtics. It procures the classic pale yellow colour and acquires a lingering taste only upon full maturation. When combined with Chardonnay it rewards one, with a robust and nutty taste lingering on for a while.
Exclusive to the Poitou region, the Chabichou is the typical old-fashioned, goat’s- milk soft cheese with its simple yet elegant texture and creamy. The well-aged Chabichou almost has a savoury tinge with a salt kick and an impeccable white texture when you cut through it. The acidity in the cheese brings out its best when balanced with White wine or Champagne.
From the regions of Eastern France, special to the Jura Massif region, Comte is a cow’s-milk hard cheese, dense and firm with a supple yellow tinge The manufacturing surroundings highly enhances the taste of the Comte. It sets quite well with Red wine, particularly a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Famed as the Queen of Cheeses, the Brie is a cow’s-milk soft cheese and shares name with her region of origin. Though seemingly simple and greyish around the edges, well-aged Brie leaves one with a complex tinge of taste. Classic French Brie is less susceptible to be damaged. It works wonders when matched with a glass of Chardonnay, proving that she still reigns unrivalled.
- The Roquefort
It comes as no wonder, that Roquefort is the most popular and preferred blue cheese from the Southern tips of France. It is demanded that the cheese mature in the Combalou Caves to give it the earthy, tangent tinge. It is indeed a treat to the cheese connoisseur, with its naturally veined blues and lingering aroma. The Roquefort incorporates well into dressings and also couples well with Red Wine.
- Bleu de Sassenage
Blue Cheese is famed for its pungent aroma and strong taste. Bleu de Sassenage is a wonderful shock with its mild and gentle texture and indulgent taste. This cow’s-milk blue cheese from the Alpine regions is christened after the Baron who encouraged its sale in the 14th century and works surprisingly fine with Red wine.
- Bleu d’Auvergne
A new entry into the world of French Cheese it was developed by Antoine Roussel and is renowned for its pungent scent and rather strong taste. When evaluated in par with Blue Cheeses in general, Auvergne is rather pleasant and creamier and perfectly poises with a drink of Chardonnay.
Perhaps the most famous of all French Cheese, Camembert produced in the Northern regions of France and is relatively new in origin. It’s easy to confuse Brie and Camembert due to their texture but the latter is more soft and creamier than the former. Camembert just melts straight away and acquires a strong sweet taste upon maturing. Camembert works magic with Cidar and Champagne.
Though not obligatory to work Wine into your Cheese Course, the pairing of Cheese with Wine brings out the best flavours and no doubt leaves a remarkable experience.