France is famous for many things including its wine production, the Eiffel tower and its beautiful countryside. However, it is also famous for its diverse production of cheeses. In fact, France produces over four hundred different cheeses which are generally categorised into eight different groups. To review all the cheeses that are produced in France would require extensive knowledge, research and time. However, here is a summary of five of the most famous and delicious varieties of cheese that are produced in France and enjoyed around the world.
This is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk that is generally produced in the Île-de-France region, specifically Brie after which it is named. The cheese is encased in a soft dough crust and has a creamy and smooth consistency and flavour. Variations of this cheese are Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun. Brie is made in large, round discs and the buyer will normally purchase just a slice of this.
Another soft cheese that is most associated with the Normandy region of France, also from cow’s milk. Similarly to Brie, the cheese is encased in a soft, edible crust and has a smooth and creamy taste and texture. In contrast to Brie, Camembert is ripened in smaller cases which give it a slightly different flavour and it is often sold still in its small, wooden casings.
This is a strong flavoured soft cheese that was named after the town in which it was originally produced. This cheese was also originally conserved and preserved in monk’s cellars. There are also several different variations of this cheese which are produced industrially oversees, some of which have a milder flavour.
The thing that makes this cheese unique is that it is produced from sheep’s milk and is linked to the Midi-Pyrenees region of France. This is one of the world’s best known blue cheeses, alongside stilton and Gorgonzola. Although it is referred to as a blue cheese, the veins of mould which run through it are actually green. Roquefort can be described as being crumbly and moist, with a slightly tangy and salty flavour. In English, this cheese is sometimes spelled as Rochefort.
Langres is a cheese made from cow’s milk in the Champagne region of France. It is a brine-coated cheese that is creamy and oozing in the centre. This makes it perfect for mopping up with chunks of fresh bread. It has quite a strong aroma but is certainly not in the league of ‘smelly feet’ cheese.