Continuing my series of ‘10 most popular…in France‘ I decided cheese was a good choice for my next post. However, I soon realised that this list would be more difficult to construct than I had first thought.
There are at least 400 types of French cheese and some experts reckon that this might be a big underestimation and that there could now be over 1000 varieties. Either way, there is a huge number of types of cheese in France. If you are a cheese lover and I definitely can count myself as one, France is the country for you!
Usually, in France, cheese is eaten after the main course and before the dessert, whereas in the UK the cheese is eaten after the dessert. I think it is more logical to have the cheese (savoury) before the dessert (sweet), although I have been known to put the cheese and the dessert on the table at the same time, so that guests can decide for themselves. I must confess I only do this in the UK, never in France!
Random cheese facts:
- Charles de Gaulle is quoted as saying “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?’
- France is the world’s leading exporter of cheese
- 47% of French people eat cheese every day
- Cheese is very much a regional delight
- A Turophile a person who loves cheese, according to the Collins English Dictionary
To arrive at my list of 10 most popular cheeses in France I carried out my usual research – looked on the internet, asked friends and made decisions based on my own preferences – highly unscientific but fun!
In no particular order:
- Camembert – a soft cow’s milk cheese originally from Normandy
- Brie – another soft cow’s milk cheese, named after the historic region of France from which it originates
- Roquefort – a hard blue cheese made from sheep’s milk
- Comté – made in Eastern France from unpasteurised cow’s milk, it has a nutty flavour
- Reblochon – made in the French Alps, a soft cow’s milk cheese
- Crottin de Chavignol – a goat’s cheese that originated in the Loire Valley
- Bleu d’Auvergne – a semi-soft blue cheese from the Auvergne region
- Munster – a strong smelling cheese from Alsace
- Pont l’Eveque – possibly oldest of all Normandy cheeses, dating back to 16th Century
- Morbier – Semi-soft with a blue/black horizontal layer of vegetable ash, running through the middle
Even typing this list, reminded me that there are so many more delicious French cheeses I could have included!
Are you a cheese lover? Do you have a favourite type of cheese. It doesn’t have to be French! I’m very partial to an extra mature cheddar!