The one fact I remember from my high school French class is that they have a different cheese for every day of the year in France. That’s right, 365 distinct types of cheese! As a cheese lover, I made it my life’s goal to try and taste every single type of French cheese there is. I still have miles to go.
Many of my cheese-loving friends are intimidated by French cheese, because they do not know which one they might like. If you have a strong, adventurous palate, you are going to be very disappointed if someone feeds you the soft and buttery variety. So read on to find out about the ten most delicious French cheese, what they look and taste like, and how they should be eaten.
Oh, and even if you aren’t a fan of cheese, don’t leave without reading! You never know when you get a chance to impress somebody with your knowledge of French fromage.
Camembert has a very mild salty flavour, an even, creamy texture that coats your mouth with richness, and a pale yellow colour. Keep in room temperature for two hours before serving. Camembert tastes lovely with fruits and nuts. It is best accompanied by a heavy bodied red Bordeaux.
Roquefort is a blue cheese made from the milk of ewes, and is aged over four months in natural caves before consumption. The greenish spots you see are veins of mold that give a pungent kick to the otherwise creamy flavour. The texture is soft and easily cut. Try a slice of Roquefort with figs and berries, and a glass of port or some other sweet wine.
Epoisses de Bourgogne, popularly known as just Epoisses, is made from coagulation of unpastuarised cow’s milk and by washing with pomace brandy. It has a chewy brownish-orange rind and is runny and soft on the inside. Epoisses has a very powerful, pungent taste that is impossible to forget. It goes beautifully with raisin bread and should be accompanied by Burgundy wine.
4. Brie de Meaux
If you are looking for a delicious soft cheese without a trace of harshness, Brie de Meaux is just what you seek. The rind is white and soft, and blends with the body. Inside, the color is moon-yellow, and very creamy. Brie de Meaux has a sweet, fruity flavour, with a faint aroma of hazelnuts. It tastes amazing with Champagne!
This very soft and creamy cheese packs a huge punch for the taste buds, as it is flavored with a variety of herbs, garlic, pepper, and even chilli pods. Boursir is a triple cream cheese that can be used in place of butter or sour cream in soups or potatoes. But it tastes best as a bread spread, particularly on baguettes. Chase down your Boursin-bread snack with a Beaujolais or a similar light red.
6. Tomme de Savoie
This is the dream cheese for weight watchers, as it is made from skimmed milk and has a very low fat content. It has a think rind of a lovely brownish gray hue, and is firm, almost tough. Tomme de Savoie has a very strong nutty taste, with a herby aftertaste. Enjoy your slice of Tomme de Savoie with some sausages or bacon, and a medium bodied red wine.
Reblochon is a washed-rind cheese, which means that the outside of the cheese is repeatedly washed in whey, to give a thick rind with a distinct flavour. The inside is runny and creamy, but the taste is very strong, ranging from nutty to almost bitter. The smell of herbs is also very prominent. Melt some Reblochon on your boiled potatoes, or just eat it plain with a fruity red wine like Beaujolaise
A soft, delicate texture marks the Munster cheese, but don’t be taken in by the appearance. It has an unbelievably strong flavour that can leave you shocked if you are not expecting it. Fruits, nuts, and wine don’t cut it with Munster, eat it with chopped onions and a pitcher of cool (but not chilled) beer.
Chevre means goat in French. Chevre cheese, is obviously the cheese from a goat’s milk. Fresh Chevre is soft and creamy and sweats milk. Older Chevre is tight and hard, and has a sharp acidic flavour. Chevre tastes awesome with red grapes, olives, figs, and on salads and pizza topping. If eaten with fruits it should be accompanied by a mature Merlot.
10. Pont l’Eveque
Pont l’Evique is one of the oldest French cheese still in circulation. It is a pale yellow cheese with a strechy white-orange ring. The texture of Pont l’Evique is soft and squishy rather than spongy. It is a creamy, full flavour, and gentle on the palate, with a rich buttery aftertaste. Eat your Pont l’Evique at room temperature with sautéed onion shoots, and wash it down with a glass of Pinot Noir.
Did you enjoy the list? Have you tried any of these? Which one did you find the most tempting? Do leave your comments!
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