Cow's milk cheeses

Ewe's milk cheeses

Goat's milk cheeses

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 l’Ecir de l’Aubrac, l’Ossau-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 consumed locally.
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 climate…La belle France.
Most people know General de Gaulle’s 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…), the 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 Roquefort…), when they are eaten (fresh, or after extended maturity….), the different ways of maturing the cheese (in charcoal ashes, flavoured with aromatics, or soaked in l’eau de vie…), etc …. The French cheese maker has never lacked imagination for stimulating our taste.

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