France is the only country in the
world that can propose, month after month, cheese boards containing completely
different varieties. All year long, by consulting the pages of this site, you
will be able to verify the truth of this statement.
No doubt you already
know Camembert, Brie or Roquefort. But have you ever tasted lEcir de
lAubrac, lOssau-Iraty or, let us suggest, Crayeux de Roncq? Behind
these wonderful names lie very specific regions and areas of France where the
inhabitants have over the centuries preserved their cultivation and traditions.
These traditions go back to the Middle Ages, explains Jean-Robert Pitte,
Professor of history at the Sorbonne: France was inward looking, its commercial
contacts to the outside were rare. In this context, most cheese production was
This explains the extraordinary diversity of cheese
produced from the different regions. From the rich alpine meadows of the Savoye
to the lusty hedged-in pastures of Normandie, to the great humid plains of the
north, to the sun- drenched rolling hills of Provence. Tourists are always
surprised by the diversity and richness of our regions and the variation in our
La belle France.
Most people know General de Gaulles
famous joke : How can one govern a country where one can find as many
different cheeses as days in the year. Honestly, no one knows exactly how
many cheeses are produced in France. The different recipes extend to infinity.
Consider the following: the type of milk employed (cow, goat, ewe
differences in rind or crust (soft pates with a wrinkled crust as we know from
Camembert , the washed rind of Munster, the spotted pâte of
), when they are eaten (fresh, or after extended
.), the different ways of maturing the cheese (in charcoal ashes,
flavoured with aromatics, or soaked in leau de vie
The French cheese maker has never lacked imagination for stimulating our taste.