December 30, 2009

La Fête du Fromage - Five Cheeses to Try in France

Les Halles de Lyon

Last week I wrote about five fabulous French cheeses that can be found in cheese shops or online in the States. I hope it helped to inspire some of you to try something new!

Unfortunately, many French cheeses aren't available overseas as they are either unpasteurized (and that is viewed as dangerous for some reason) or simply aren't exported by their producers. So in honor of this week's La Fête du Fromage I have put together a short list of luscious French cheeses to taste the next time you come to France.

I just know that these will entice you to get those plane tickets purchased!

When you arrive in France and find yourself in front of a large display of all sorts of strange looking, wonderfully smelly cheese at the Fromagerie, you can be confident that you are familiar with at least a few of the names and impress the person behind the counter when you ask for these five.
Believe me, you won't be disappointed.

1) Brugère - pronounced brew-jhere
A wonderful silky, slightly chalky textured fromage de chèvre that is a delight!

2) Tome Basque
A refined, sophisticated cheese with buttery and hazelnut flavors. It is super smooth and melts in your mouth. I love this one!

3) Camembert Brebis Fermier
A very special ewe's milk cheese from the Languedoc-Roussillon, made in the style of Camembert.

4) Cendré de Champagne
A luscious, creamy cheese with a slight smoky flavor from its ash covered rind. Truly sublime!

5) Chèvre Frais
In four stages of affinage. If you have the chance, try them all to find your favorite. Be sure to have some honey or fig jam to serve alongside.

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Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Thanks Loulou, I am going to take this little list to cheese stall in the Oxford covered market..will let you know what I can buy.

Happy New Year, and look forward to more Cheese posts.. :-)

Nadege said...

Petit Basque is delicious. I have bought it many times at Whole Foods and sometimes at Costco. Even on kauai there is a Costco. Back home on friday evening; I wish I could stay on the islands.

Le Chevalier Dauphinois said...

Magnifique article sur l'un des symbole de la France... Le fromage !
tes images me donne l'envie d'en manger un morceau avant d'aller travailler.. Bravo !

Betty Carlson said...

There's honey from Gages in that picture! Did you buy it here, did I give it to you....?

I must admit I didn't know most of these cheeses, unlike the last post.

Ashleigh said...

Thanks Loulou! I will be in Languedoc again in the summer and this time instead of fearfully pointing at the different cheeses and mumbling I will print out your pages and take them with me :)

Unknown said...

great way to condense down to a manageable number for us tourist who have a limited time in France like we will have come May - you are a very good educator and a time saver!!

France South - The Blog said...

French Cheeses are just so wonderful!

Have a "Bonne Annee"


Jennifer said...

Let me know what you find!

I like Petit Basque too.
You've been in Hawaii? How wonderful...
Hope it has been a great trip!

Le Chevalier
J'adore le fromage!

You gave it to us when you came for a visit last spring. It is delicious, thank you again.
If you try any of these, you'll have to let me know!

So glad to have helped. It is my goal to get people to eat more French cheese.
Where will you be staying in the Languedoc?

Thank you. I hope you have the chance to enjoy some of these on your trip this May.

Yes, they are!

Unknown said...

I've been learning to make cheese from raw milk. So far I've made mozzarella, chevre and queso fresco...all from goat's cheese. It has a really strong flavor and is sooo fresh. I'm ready to experiment with some raw cow's milk, too, as I just found a wonderful source with no antibiotics or growth hormones. Making cheese is easy and tastes so good. It's REAL food.
Thank you for the suggestions!

Unknown said...

Also, one of our favorite French cheeses that we get here at Dillon's market is Port Salut. It is a new one to us. We discovered it after we found it greatly marked down. We live in a small town and few people are as adventurous in their eating as we are, so quite often we benefit from items that do not sell well, such as cheese and imported olives. Yea for us!
Port Salut is a very buttery semi-soft cheese that has a bit of a heavy taste or bite to it. I can't tell where exactly it is made in France, as the package does not indicate, but it says it is made from a secret trappist monk recipe. It's very good!

Dale said...

Really enjoyed your posts on Cheese. Cheese is one of the many things that I love about France I looking forward to trying several of the ones that you recommend soon. Counting the days four weeks from today I fly to Paris then take the train to Beziers in the Languedoc-Roussillon where I have a small apartment rented for February. I've had the Tome Basque cheese before and enjoyed it very much. A friend who lives in Sevre outside of Paris still teases me about the large chunk that I bought and carried as we walked the Vezelay Camino route through southern France. Starting the first of March I hope to be walking the Le Puy en Velay route to the foot of the Pyrenees at Saint-Jean Pied-Port so hopefully there will be many good cheese experiences.

Keep up the good work.

PS: I had differculty getting the follow button to work so I could follow your blog but I was able to do it from my blog. Doing it from yours the subscribe button was missing.

Jennifer said...

Love your name!

How cool that you've been making cheese. I said last year that it was something I was going to try but never got around to doing it. Hopefully in 2010!
We used to buy Port Salut at Trader Joes. Good for nibbling. And melting! :)
It is made in Brittany, I believe.
Happy New Year.

Have a good journey and I hope you get to taste some of the ones I recommended. Sounds like you'll be in some good cheese tasting areas of France!

BayouFrog said...

Port Salut in manufactured in Mayenne. And I can purchase it here in the states and my local is quite yummy!

- BayouFrog

Jennifer said...

You're correct, it is produced in Mayenne, just next door to Brittany.
We used to buy Port Salut a lot when we lived in the States. Good stuff!

Draffin Bears said...

You have a beautiful blog and I enjoyed your list of French cheeses.
When we stayed in Paris at a little apartment, above a cheese shop.
Opening the door we were hit by the most amazing smell, very pongy and took a while to get used to it.

Happy weekend

Jennifer said...

I want the address of where you stayed so I can stay there myself! Sounds like heaven. :)
Thanks for your comment. So glad you enjoyed the French cheese list.
Have a great weekend!

We the People said...

I'm no cheese connoisseur but we had a wine and cheese soiree with my French class and Delice de Bourgogne was by far the going away favorite out of perhaps 40 different cheeses.

Jennifer said...

We the people
I love that your French class did a cheese tasting and can understand why Délice de Bourgogne would easily be a favorite - it's a triple cream cheese! :)