France

Abondance de Savoie

Abondance de Savoie is pressed, brine-soaked & aged, during which time it is rubbed with salt. This cheese may replace or combine mountain cheeses such as Comte or Gruyere for melting purposes to add extra dimensions of flavor. The texture is firm with a tight paste & the flavor is full, buttery and nutty with a fruity tang and a grassy finish. This cheese is made only from the mixed race breed of cattle that carries the same name of that region.

Country: France
Region: Haute-Savoie, Abondance (Alps Mountains)
Texture: Semi-Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 90 Days
Pasteurized: No

Beaufort

Beaufort is protected name of origin (AOC) cheese from the Savoie region in France. It is a semi-firm, full-flavored mountain cheese that is often compared to Gruyere and Comte. It has a yellowish brown rind, creamy yet firm texture with a nutty flavor and a grassy aroma. This cheese is is a great substitution of Swiss cheeses for fondue. There are three types of Beaufort:

  • Beaufort
  • Beaufort d'ete (Summer Beaufort - milk from June through October)
  • Beaufort d'alpage (made on alpine chalets with the milk of a local herd)

Country: France
Region: Savoie, South Eastern France
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: Minimum 6 Months
Pasteurized: No

Bleu d'Auvergne

Bleu D'Auvergne is a protected name of origin, (AOC) cheese from the Auvergne region in France. It is a cows milk blue cheese. It was first produced in the 1850s by a farmer in the Massif Centrale, an area of France consisting of mountains and rich volcanic soil. It is first aged in cellars for one or two months before it is wrapped in foil and aged for an additional month. Bleu D'Auvergne has a strong aroma and sharp taste but is less pungent than many other blue cheeses. It is less salty and creamier than Roquefort and uses cows milk instead of ewe's milk. It has an off-white colored interior with an uneven spread of blue veins. Its well balanced sharp flavor makes it a very versatile ingredient for many dishes. 

Country: France
Region: Auvergne (South Central France)
Texture: Semi-Soft Blue
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: Minimum 2 Months
Pasteurized: No

Boule de Lille (Mimolette)

Mimolette is a pasteurized cows milk cheese, produced in the Nord Pas-de-Calais region in northern France that closely resembles the shape, size, and look of a melon. In fact, this cheese is produced by the same process of Dutch Edam.  There are many arguments as to where this cheese was originally produced. Some argue that Mimolette originated in Holland whereas others insist it was founded in France. During the reign of Louis XIV, it was illegal in France to import cheeses from Holland. One theory is that the French from Normandy developed this cheese as a result to their cultural ties to Holland. The cheese is bright orange in color with a natural, dusty looking rind. Its texture varies from firm to hard the flavor most closely resembles the sharp and tangy flavors of a well-aged cheddar. The cheese also carries the name “Boule de Lille” since the cheese originates from the town of Lille. This cheese is classified into four different categories based on its aging time:

  • Mimolette Jeune (aged 2 months)
  • Mimolette demi-vielle (aged 6 months)
  • Mimolette vielle (aged 12 months)
  • Mimolette tres vielle (aged 18-24 months)

Country: France
Region: Nord Pas-de-Calais
Texture: Firm to Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: 2-24 months
Pasteurized: Yes

Brebicet

Brebicet is a smooth, soft, bloomy-rind sheep's milk cheese from the Rhone-Alps region in France with a white, velvety and pillowy bloomy rind. Produced by the Guilloteau creamery, Brebicet has a delicate and supple paste that is creamy and soft. Its slightly sweet and mild flavors makes this cheese perfect for all occasions.

Country: France
Region: Rhone-Alps
Texture: Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging Time: 1 to 2 weeks
Pasteurized: Yes

Brezain

Brezain is a smoked, cow's milk, raclette-style French cheese produced in the mountainous Alps. After the cheese is produced, it is exposed to smoke generated from a wood fire highly humid atmosphere. This atmosphere allows the smoke flavor to penetrate into the cheese, giving it a rustic element to its already caramelly and nutty taste. The end result is a semi-soft cheese with an off-white, ivory colored pate and rich brown rind.

Country: France
Region: Rhone-Alps
Texture: Semi-Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: Less than 60 days
Pasteurized: By law in the US but not in most of Europe

Brie

Brie de Meaux

Brie is the most popular French cheese in the world. Brie is a double-creme cheese that screams out elegance and class. It is named after the French region in the north-central portion of the country and is made using cows milk. Within the region are the smaller villages which produce origin protected Brie cheeses. Traditional "Basic Bries" do not have the AOC certification and so the while the name is typically used to identify a cheese in the Ile-de-France area of the country, the term Brie is also used synonymously to describe cheeses of this bloomy rind variety. There are only two types of true authentic Bries that carry the name protected origin (AOC) certification: 1) Brie de Meaux, and 2) Brie de Melun.

Country: France
Region: Ile-de-France, 40 miles east of Paris
Texture: Bloomy-Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 1 week
Pasteurized: By law in the US but not in most of Europe

Brie cheeses are argued to have differentiating flavors and colors if the cheese is made with pasteurized milk or unpasteurized milk. While all types of Brie cheeses have the same flavor components, typically associated with a creamy buttery flavor with mushroom undertones and velvety white bloomy rind, the unpasteurized version has been described as having a richer flavor and more yellow interior pate.

Le Brin

Le Brin is a farmhouse cheese traditionally produced in the Rhone-Alps region of France that is made from cow’s milk with a washed rind. It is a milder and sweeter version of typical French washed rind cheeses which are highly aromatic and fully flavored. It is made with a vegetarian rennet. The cheese is produced in a hexagonal shape by the Guilloteau creamery.  The end result is a creamy and spreadable paste with a reddish orange edible rind.

Country: France
Region: Rhone-Alps
Texture: Washed Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: Less than 60 days
Pasteurized: Yes

Bucheron

Bucheron is a bloomy-rind goat cheese that is produced in the Loire Valley in France. It has a bright white and fairly dense pate that crumbles yet is creamy while eaten. The ivory-colored ring just beneath the rind is softer and creamier with a fresh and tangy flavor. The cheese is produced in long 3 to 4 pound logs and also hails the name Buche de Chevre. This cheese is great with honey and crackers, crumbled into a salad, or eaten with fresh fruit.

Country: France
Region: Loire Valley
Texture: Bloomy-Rind
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging Time: 5-10 Weeks
Pasteurized: By law in the US but not in most of Europe

Camembert

Camembert is a bloomy rind, AOC cows milk cheese from the Normandy region in France. It is one of France's most popular cheese. It is believed to have been discovered by a farmer named Marie Harel, who hid a persecuted priest from the area of Brie. He taught her the style of cheese produced in his area. Over the years, the cheese had become more famous and Camembert became the most imitated cheese in the world. The cheese itself is fairly small, produced in a cylindrical shape that is only 4 inches in diameter. Its pate is supple and ivory colored and its rind is white and velvety. Its taste is creamy and rich, with underlying flavor characteristics of mushrooms, garlic, and salt.

Country: France
Region: Normandy
Texture: Semi-Soft Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: 2-3 weeks
Pasteurized: By law in the US but not in most of Europe

Cantal

Cantal Vieux

Cantal is an AOC cows milk cheese from the town of Cantal in the Auvergne region in southern France. It is one of the oldest cheeses in France. It is a semi-hard cheese that is produced using only salers cattle. The curds are pressed, broken up, and salted several times before it is molded into its cylindrical shape.  The cheese had a fairly dense texture, with flavors ranging from sweet and milky, to powerful and nutty depending on how long it ages. Cantal is classified into the different categories depending on its aging time:

  • Cantal Jeune (aged 1-2 months)
  • Cantal entre-deaux (aged 2-6 months)
  • Cantal vieux (aged more than 6 months)

Country: France
Region: Auvergne
Texture: Semi-hard
Type of milk: cows milk
Aging Time: 1-6+ months
Pasteurized: Typically unpasteurized although both versions are produced

Caprifeuille St. Maure

Caprifeuille St. Maure is a log shaped, aged goat cheese that has a sweet and delicate taste with undertones of acid and salt. It is produced in the Loire Valley of France and has a bloomy rind with pate that is semi-soft but hardens as the cheese ages. The rind has a wrinkled appearance that provides a rustic flavor component to the cheese. The pate is dense, white and has a chalky texture when young with a fresh and tangy flavor. After the cheese matures, the pate will become less moist and crumbly with a sharper and nuttier flavor.

Country: France
Region: Loire Valley
Texture: Bloomy-Rind
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging Time: At Least 10 Days
Pasteurized: Typically unpasteurized although both versions are produced 

Le Carre du Berry

Le Carre du Berry is a French pasteurized goats milk cheese that is covered with a blend of herbs, peppercorns, and juniper berries. The goats grazing on the pastures of Berry, south of the Loire River produce exceptionally rich milk that contain all of the typical flavor components of fresh goats milk. It is creamy and rich with a tangy finish. The cheese produced is delicious with nuances of clover, herbs, pines and walnuts.

Country: France
Region: Berry
Texture: Soft
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging time: About 1 week
Pasteurized: Yes

Le Caussenard

Le Caussenard is a sheep milk cheese from the Languedoc region of Southern France. Named after the countryside of the region, Les Causses, this pasteurized sheep milk cheese is aged for approximately six months.  Manufactured in 6lb wheels by Vernières, a leading Roquefort producer, this cheese develops a semi-firm texture with a sweet yet nutty flavor that is reminiscent of Ossou-Iraty. It has an ivory colored pate and a rind that is treated with carotene to give it a more rustic appearance that creates a contrast with the appearance of the interior.

Country: France
Region:  Languedoc
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging Time: At least 2 Months
Pasteurized: Yes

Chabichou du Poitou

Chabichou du Poitou is an AOC, goat milk cheese from the Poitou-Charentes region of France. The legend of this cheese dates as far back to the 8th century when the Saracens arrived to the area with goats and goat cheeses. In fact, its name is derived from the Arabic word chebi, meaning a young goat. They are manufactured in small cylindrical shapes that are 6cm tall and weigh approximately 6oz.  It is a slightly aged cheese, with a wrinkled rind and a chalky pate. When the cheese is young, it tastes mild and creamy with hazelnut undertones. As it ages, it becomes dried with a more pronounced flavor and a tangy finish.

Country: France
Region: Haut Poitou
Texture: Semi Firm Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging Time: 10 Days
Pasteurized: Typically unpasteurized although both versions are produced

Chaource

Chaource is an AOC cow’s milk cheese, originally manufactured in the village of Chaource in the Champagne region of France. It is cylindrical in shape and made into small wheels that are approximately 8 ounces. It is a double crème, bloomy rind cheese that is rich and buttery in flavor with a slightly tangy and mushroomy finish. Its texture is dense and creamy and pairs beautifully with Champagne or other sparkling wines.

Country: France
Region: Champagne
Texture: Semi-Soft Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: 2-4 weeks
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Chaubier

Chaubier is a semi-firm French cheese that is made from a mixture of pasteurized cow and pasteurized goat’s milk. It is a pressed, tome style cheese that is aged for approximately 6 months. The texture is firm enough to slice or cube but is also dense and creamy. Chaubier has a moist orange rind and a pate that is golden yellow. It is a washed rind cheese that has a nutty flavor with a rich buttery finish and is slightly aromatic.

Country: France
Region: Poitou Charentes
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Cow and Goat
Aging Time: Around 6 months
Pasteurized: Yes

Chevre du Poitou

Chevre du Poitou is a goat’s milk cheese from France.  It has a rich creamy pate and a bright white bloomy rind and is often referred as a goats milk Camembert. This soft ripened cheese is manufactured by the Sevre & Belle creamery and comes from the Poitou region in France. Manufactured using pasteurized goat’s milk, this soft ripened cheese has an earthy, rustic, and mushroomy flavor with sweet undertones.

Country: France
Region: Poitou
Texture: Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging time: 15 Days
Pasteurized: Yes

Le Chevrot

Le Chevrot is goat's milk cheese that has a bright white pate with an off white, slightly wrinkled edible rind. Handmade near the province of Poitou, next to the Loire Valley, it has an inviting aroma, with a buttery taste and a fine moist texture.  As it gets older, the interior develops a flaky and creamy texture and the rind offsets a nuttier, rustic and full-bodied flavor.  

Country: France
Region: Haut Poitou
Texture: Semi Firm Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging Time: 10 Days
Pasteurized: Typically unpasteurized although both versions are produced

Clarines / Fromager des Clarines

Fromager des Clarines is a French cow’s milk cheese, manufactured in a similar style as Vacherin Mont D’or and L’Edel de Cleron. It is made from pasteurized, mountain cow’s milk from the Franche Comte regions in France. It has a slightly golden colored rind and a rich and creamy pate. Fromager des Clarines is packed in a wooden box similar to L'Edel de Cleron and Epoisses. It is traditionally served and eaten inside the box using a spoon to scoop out the creamy interior.  The cheese is manufactured in small forms that weigh approximately 250g.

Country: France
Region: Franche-Comte
Texture: Bloomy-Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 2 weeks
Pasteurized: Yes

Comte

Comte is a semi-hard, unpasteurized, AOC cheese produced in the Franche-Comte region of eastern France. It also carries the name Gruyere de Comte.  Even though the Swiss version of the cheese (Gruyere) is more popular, it is highest produced French AOC cheese. The cheese is produced only in the summer by Montbéliardes cows and manufactured in 70lb wheels.  It is typically aged between 6 months and 1 year and has a straw colored pate with a brown rind. The flavor is somewhat sweet, nutty, and sharpens as the cheese ages. There are two classifications of Comte, based on how long it ages:

  • Comte - Aged approximately 6 months
  • Comte Reserve - Aged approximately 1 Year

County: France
Region: Franche-Comte
Texture: Semi-Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 6-12 months
Pasteurized: No

Corsu Vecchiu

Corsu Vecchiu is a French sheep’s milk cheese from the Mediterranean island of Corsica.  It is an unpasteurized cheese that is semi-firm in texture and made into wheels that are approximately 3 to 5 pounds. It is aged for around 6 months and develops a rustic grey rind. Its pate is ivory colored with slight eye formation and dense in texture. Its flavor is rich, nutty and somewhat sweet with salty and rustic undertones.  

Country: France
Region: Corsica
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging Time: 6 months
Pasteurized: No

Crottin de Champcol / Crottin de Chavignol

Crottin de Chavignol is an unpasteurized AOC French aged goat cheese from the small town of Chavignol in the Loire region of France. It has a complex, grassy and nutty flavor with a great salty balance. It is produced in small 2oz cylindrical buttons with a pale white pate and off white rind. In fact, the word "crottin" in French translates to horse dung which is in reference to the shape of the cheese. Because it is aged, the texture is a lot firmer and less moist than traditional Crrotin cheeses.  A pasteurized version of this cheese is produced as well. However, it is not AOC certified and therefore cannot carry the Crottin de Chavignol name. Instead it is named Crottin de Champcol.

Country: France
Region: Loire
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging Time: Around 4 Weeks
Pasteurized: Unpasteurized for the Chavignol verson, pasteurized for the Champcol version

D'Affinois

Fromage D'Affinois is a bloomy rind cow's milk cheese that is similar in appearance to Brie. It is arguably the most famous item manufactured by the Guilloteau creamery. A major difference with this cheese and Brie fall into the cheese making process. Fromage D'Affinois is produced using ultra-filtration, a process that separates the water from pasteurized milk, concentrating all of the other components. This makes the cheese making process much faster than the process of a typical Brie and creates a much creamier and silkier texture. Many people consider it a triple-crème based on its flavor and consistency, although the fat content technically make is a double-crème. It has a sweetness to its flavor with rustic undertones that make it a very desirable cheese.

Country: France
Region: Rhone-Alps
Texture: Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: Approximately 2 weeks
Pasteurized: Yes

D'Affinois de Brebis

Fromage d'Affinois de Brebis a soft ripened pure sheep milk cheese with a creamy texture and a sweet taste. Fromager de Brebris is a soft, bloomy-rind sheep's milk cheese from the Rhone-Alps region in France. Produced by the well renowned Guilloteau creamery, it is very similar to the other sheep milk bloomy rind cheeses produced by the same company. The cheese is produced in a rectangular shape and also hails the name Le Berger de Rocastin. The paste is mild and rich while the rind provides a flavor and texture that is savory and builds complexity.

Country: France
Region: Rhone-Alps
Texture: Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging Time: Less than 60 days
Pasteurized: Yes 

L'Edel de Cleron

L'Edel de Cleron is a pasteurized version of the famous French cheese Vacherin Mont D’or which is illegal in the United States due to the laws regarding pasteurized cheese. Produced in the Franche-Comte region of France, l'Edel de Cleron is a cow's milk cheese that is bound by a strip of spruce bark that not only helps the cheese retain its shape, but also gives it a rustic aroma. Sometimes this cheese is referred to as “faux Vacherin”. It has a bloomy rind with a creamy interior that becomes more woodsy and mushroomy in flavor and aroma as you get closer to the rind.  The cheese is best eaten when it’s ripe and the interior is runny and needs to be eaten with a spoon.

Country: France

Region: Franche-Comte
Texture: Bloomy-Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 2 weeks
Pasteurized: Yes

Emmental de Savoie

Emmental de Savoie is an IGP certified, unpasteurized, cows milk cheese, the oldest of the French Emmental's and has been produced in the Savoie region since the Middle Ages. It is matured in stages. Its long maturation in caves of varying temperatures process gives this hard cheese a nutty, sweet flavor.

Country: France

Region: Haute-Savoie
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 5 months
Pasteurized: No

Epoisses

Named after a small village in Burgundy, Epoisses is an AOC cows milk French cheese. The production of this cheese went nearly extinct in the 1930s but was revived in 1956 by the Berthaut creamery and the company continued to produce Epoisses today. Its rind is washed in brine and pomace brandy, creating an exteriors that a smooth reddish brown appearance. It is produced in both pasteurized and unpasteurized forms. It is one of the most aromatic cheeses produced and has a strong, pungent yet very creamy flavor.

Country: France
Region: Burgundy
Texture: Washed-Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: Approximately 5 Weeks
Pasteurized: By law in the United States but no in most of Europe

L'Explorateur

Exploreteur is a cows milk triple crème cheese from the Isle de France region in France. This cheese was first introduced in the 1950's and named after US launched satellite, "Exploror". Its cylindrical shape has a white bloomy rind, an ivory colored creamy pate and has approximately 75% butterfat. The pate is extremely rich and buttery with slightly sweet and salty undertones. As the cheese ages, the cheese becomes firmer and dryer in texture, resulting in a more full and nutty flavor.

 

Country: France:
Region: Isle de France
Texture: Bloomy Rind
Milk Type: Cow
Pasteurized: By law in the US but not in the rest of Europe

Florette

Florette is a goats milk, soft ripened, bloomy rind French cheese produced from the Guilloteau creamery. It is manufactured in a few sizes but are all hexagonal shaped.  Unlike most goat cheeses that typically have a sharp and tangy flavor, Florette has a more delicate flavor with a creamy texture.

Country: France
Region: Rhone-Alps
Texture: Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging Time: Approximately 2 weeks
Pasteurized: Yes

Fourme D'Ambert

Foume D'ambert is an AOC cylindrical shaped blue cheese from the Ambert region in France. Made using cow milk from Montbéliardes cows, this cheese is aged for 1-2 months developing a semi-firm texture with a rich and creamy flavor. The word "Fourme" is derived from the Latin word "forma", describing its cylindrical shape that is 8 inches high and 5 inches in diameter. This is one of the more mild blue cheeses from France. It was granted AOC status in 1972 in partnership with Fourme de Montbrison. The recipes for the two cheeses are identical, granting it a joint AOC certification. In 2002, however, Fourme D'ambert received its own AOC certification, citing terroir as its major difference.

Country: France
Region: Town of Ambert, Auvergne
Texture: Semi-firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 1 month
Pasteurized: Both Versions are Available

Fourme de Montbrison

Foume de Montbrison is an AOC blue cheese from the Loire region in France. The word “Fourme” is derived from the Latin word “forma”, describing its cylindrical shape that is 8 inches high and 5 inches in diameter. Made using cow milk from Montbéliardes cows and injected with Penicillium Roqueforti, this cheese is aged for 1-2 months developing mild, rich and creamy flavor. It was granted AOC status in 1972 in partnership with Fourme D’Ambert. The recipes for the two cheeses are identical, granting it a joint AOC certification. In 2002, however, the AOC certifications split citing that terroir is a major differentiating element. This cheese is not highly produced because it has been overshadowed by Fourme D’ambert.

Country: France
Region: Town of Montbrison, Loire
Texture: Semi-firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 1 month
Pasteurized: Both Versions are Available

Livarot

This cheese is named after the village in Normandy. Livarot is an AOC cows milk cheese with a washed rind and one of the oldest cheeses in France. It is nicknamed the Colonel because wrapped on the outside of the cheese are straps of paper or rush leaves that is reminiscent of a uniforms stripes. The rind is washed in brine and colored with annatto, making it salty, sticky, and aromatic.  The pate has a texture similar to a Brie or Camembert. The cheese as a whole is very strong due to its highly aromatic washed rind. The cheese has a somewhat supple pate with a spicy flavor and a barnyardy, rustic, and herbaceous aroma and is manufactured using raw or pasteurized milk. It is typically aged for 1 to 2 months.

Country: France

Region: Normandy, Livarot
Texture: Washed Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least one month
Pasteurized: Both options are available


Mimolette

Mimolette is a pasteurized cows milk cheese, produced in the Nord Pas-de-Calais region in northern France that closely resembles the shape, size, and look of a melon. In fact, this cheese is produced by the same process of Dutch Edam.  There are many arguments as to where this cheese was originally produced. Some argue that Mimolette originated in Holland whereas others insist it was founded in France. During the reign of Louis XIV, it was illegal in France to import cheeses from Holland. One theory is that the French from Normandy developed this cheese as a result to their cultural ties to Holland. The cheese is bright orange in color with a natural, dusty looking rind. Its texture varies from firm to hard the flavor most closely resembles the sharp and tangy flavors of a well-aged cheddar. The cheese also carries the name “Boule de Lille” since the cheese originates from the town of Lille. This cheese is classified into four different categories based on its aging time:

  • Mimolette Jeune (aged 2 months)
  • Mimolette demi-vielle (aged 6 months)
  • Mimolette vielle (aged 12 months)
  • Mimolette tres vielle (aged 18-24 months)

Country: France
Region: Nord Pas-de-Calais
Texture: Firm to Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: 2-24 months
Pasteurized: Yes

Morbier

Morbier is an AOC cows milk cheese from the Franch-Comte region in France. It is most recognized by its a layer of grayish black edible ash through the center of the ivory colored pate.  This cheese was originally made for personal consumption by the cheesemakers of Comte.  Ash was added to the leftover curd of the evening production to prevent a rind forming and to keep insects away.  The cheesemaking process continues by adding the remaining curd from the next morning’s production and allowing the cheese to age for at least two months. This results in a layered cheese, with a semi-soft and elastic pate that is creamy and slightly aromatic. The natural rind is sticky and forms a light brown color.

Country: France
Region: France-Comte
Texture: Semi-Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 2 months
Pasteurized: No

Munster

This is an AOC French cows milk cheese from Northeastern France. The cheese is made under different names on either side of the Vosges Mountains. In Alsace, on the eastern side of the mountains it is called Munster. In Lorraine, on the western side of the mountain it is known as Gerome. Munster received its AOC certification in 1969 but in 1978, the AOC Munster-Gerome united the two cheeses. This cheese has absolutely no resemblance to the generic, American version of the cheese Muenster. The French version is a very highly aromatic cheese with a sticky, red colored rind. The pate is smooth and creamy the cheeses full and rich flavor is attributed to the baryardy, grassy, and herbaceous aroma generated from the brine rubbed rind. The milk used to make Munster comes from the Vosgiennes cows, a breed that was imported from Scandinavia in the 18th century.

Country: France
Region: Alsace (North Eastern France)
Texture: Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 2-3 Months
Pasteurized: By law in the US but not in most of Europe

Ossou-Iraty

Ossou-Iraty is an AOC sheep milk cheese from the western Pyrenees Mountains in France. The milk for this cheese may only be processed twenty days after lambing. The AOC regulations extend to two areas within the mountain range. Ossou is in Bearn and Iraty is in the French Basque region. Its pate is ivory colored and semi-firm with a flavor that is rich and nutty with undertones of caramel. It is also commonly referred to as Istara, which is the name of the most popular company that produces this cheese. 

Country: France
Region: Pyrenees Mountains
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging Time: At least 3 Months
Pasteurized: Both versions are produced

P'tit Basque

P’tit Basque is a pasteurized sheep milk cheese from the French Pyrenees. It is a relatively new cheese that was first released in 1997 and manufactured by the Lactalis Company. It is a semi-firm, washed rind cheese that is coated in wax that looks like a basket weave to retain its moisture and to prevent it from creating a moldy rind. The cheese is manufactured in small wheels that are approximately three inches high and two to three inches in diameter. Each wheel only weighs around 1.5 pounds. The pate is ivory colored and smooth with a sweet and fragrant aroma. Its texture is creamy yet dense with a well-balanced sweet and salty flavor.

Country: France
Region: Pyrenees Mountains
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging time: Approximately 60 – 70 days
Pasteurized: Yes

Petit Billy

Petit Billy is a fresh goat’s milk cheese from the Loire region in France. It is a relatively new cheese that was first introduced in 1986 and has quickly become a very popular cheese. Because it is fresh, the cheese has no rind and a bright white pate. The milk is sourced from the Saanen breed of goats which are considered to be of high quality. When the cheese is at its freshest, its texture can resemble a slightly firmer version of ricotta cheese. As it ages, Petit Billy loses moisture and becomes firmer in texture and stronger in flavor. The cheese is milky and rich with a slight tangy finish.

Country: France
Region: Loire
Texture: Fresh
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging time: 2 weeks

Pasteurized: Yes

Pierre Robert

Pierre Robert is a French triple-crème style cows milk cheese. It is a pasteurized cheese that is enriched with cream with a white, velvety and pillowy rind.  This cheese was invented by Brillat-Savarin cheesemakers, Robert Rouzaire and his friend Pierre. Made in small, 1 pound wheels, this cheese is aged for three weeks, resulting in a rich, buttery flavor that is smooth, mild, and slightly tangy. Its pate is soft yet dense and similar to the texture of La Tur, Rochetta, and Camilla. Because of its mild and buttery flavor, it is a cheese that is paired well with Champagne.

Country: France
Region: Ile-de-France
Texture: Semi-Soft Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: About 3 weeks
Pasteurized: Yes

Pont L'Eveque

Pont L'Eveque is an AOC, washed rind, cows milk cheese from the Normandy region in France. This square shaped cheese has been produced for many centuries and is considered to be one of the most popular cheeses in France. References of this cheese in the Middle Ages called it "Angelot" or "Augelot". It adopted the name "Pont L'Eveque", named after the town it was originally produced in, in the 16th or 17th century. Its rind is slightly sticky and ranges from an ivory color to a rich orange color. Its pate is soft and creamy, but not runny. Its flavor is rich and buttery. Its aroma is strong and assertive. There are thee types of this cheese that are classified according to its size:

  • Petit - formed in an approximate 9cm square
  • Demi - formed in an approximate 11cm square
  • Grand - formed in an approximate 20cm square

Country: France
Region: Normandy
Texture: Semi-Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 45 days
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Raclette

Raclette is a highly aromatic cows milk cheese and is famously known as a great coking cheese. It is a semi soft cheese that is made in wheels that are approximately three inches high and 15 inches in diameter. Its pate is straw colored and creamy. Its rind is sticky and fragrant. Its flavor is nutty and earthy. It is produced both in the French and Swiss Alps and is similar in flavor and texture as Moriber and Fontina. Because it is a great cooking cheese, Raclette is typically melted into dishes. In fact, its name derives from racler, meaning to scrape. Traditionally, the cheese is cut and heated so that it can be scraped off and mixed with potatoes, vegetables, onions and sometimes meat. 

Country: France and Switzerland
Region: French and Swiss Alps
Texture: Semi-Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: At least 8 weeks.
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Roucoulons

Roucoulons is a bloomy rind, cows milk cheese produced by Fromagerie Milleret in Franche-Comte region of France. It is a soft ripened cheese with a pale, orange colored rind. Its pate is ivory colored and creamy in texture. It is mild but has rustic, earthy and beefy components to its flavor. It is marketed as a “love” cheese with hearts on its packaging and its name deriving from the French word “roucouler” which means to talk fondly or amorously. It has a lovely depth of flavor and is not a very famous cheese in the United States.

Country: France
Region: Franche-Comte
Texture: Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 2-3 weeks
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Saint Andre

St. Andre is a triple crème cows milk French cheese. It is arguably the most popular triple crème cheese in the world.  It is a soft ripened cheese, similar to Brie and Camembert, yet with a higher fat content and a richer, more buttery flavor.  Made in the Pyrénées Mountains, this cheese is produced by enriching cows milk with cream, raising the butterfat content to approximately 75%. Its rind is bright white and velvety in texture. Its interior is soft and creamy with a density similar to a cheesecake. Its flavor is rich and buttery with slight rustic undertones of mushrooms and grass. This is a typical desert cheese due to its sweet, buttery flavor.

Country: France
Region: Pyrenees Mountians
Texture: Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: Approximately three weeks
Pasteurized: Yes

Saint Nectaire

St. Nectaire is an AOC, cows milk cheese made in the Auvergne region in France.  It is a pressed, uncooked cheese, using Salers cattle, the same source of milk as Cantal. What is interesting about this cheese is its name.  There was no Saint Nectaire. Its name s derived from the Marechal of Sennecterre who served this cheese at the table of Louis XIV. Over time, the cheese developed its name “Saint Nectaire”.  The cheese is aged for 8-10 weeks in damp cellars sitting on top of rye straw. This aging process attributes greatly to its earthy and musty aroma. Its pate is semi-firm and ivory colored with a creamy texture and a nutty flavor that is rustic and mushroomy.  

Country: France
Region: Auvergne
Type of milk: Cows
Texture: Semi-Firm
Aging Time: 8-10 weeks
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Saint Paulin

Saint Paulin is a mild, semi-soft, cows milk cheese. It is made throughout the entire country of France but primarily in the Brittany region in the northwestern part of the country. It is a washed rind cheese with a mild and somewhat elastic ivory colored pate.  This cheese is modeled on Port-du-Salut and was the first cheese to be made with pasteurized milk. Only within the last 20 years has a raw milk version of this cheese been available.  This cheese was originally produced exclusively in monasteries. It is now also manufactured by private companies.

Country: France
Region: All areas but primarily in Brittany
Texture: Semi-Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: 2 to 3 weeks
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Tomme de Savoie

Tomme de Savoie is a semi-firm, cow’s milk cheese from the Savoie region in France.  It is made using skim milk left over after the cream has been used to make butter or richer cheeses. It is therefore a relatively lower fat cheese that has a fat content between 20 and 45%. It is a pressed cheese that is made in small, 1-2kg sized forms. This cheese is made all year with slight flavor differences resulting in the diets the cows eat during the summer and winter months. It is aged for at least 2 months and develops a thick, gray colored, powdery, rustic looking rind. The pate is mild and grassy that is beige colored.

Country: France
Region: Savoie
Texture: Semi-firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: At least 2 months
Pasteurized: No