December 23, 2009

La Fête du Fromage - Five Fabulous French Fromages

Choosing just five French cheeses out of the multitude that I've tasted over the last couple of years was an interesting task. Especially since so many of my favorites aren't available outside of France. But I thought that if I narrowed down the choice to just five superb French cheeses that are all available in the States, maybe it would inspire some of you to put together a cheese platter to serve family and friends during the holidays.

One of the best things about a cheese platter is there's no cooking involved. At this time of year, you've got to love that! After you've purchased a varied selection, it just takes a bit of arranging on plates or platters and adorning with some fruit, possibly some nuts, and sliced French bread or crackers.

I think a cheese platter is the perfect thing to take the edge off if you're throwing une petite fête that will carry on until the wee hours. After the nibbles have been reduced to crumbs, put out a cheese platter and your guests will be revived and ready to keep the party going!

1) Bleu d'Auvergne
Buttery and smoky tasting. A delicious bleu!

2) Comté
No wonder this one is a favorite here in France. Its distinctive nutty and caramelized flavor is so satisfying.

3) Brie de Nangis
Smooth and buttery and an absolutely delectable member of the brie family.

4) Pouligny Saint-Pierre
This little pyramide is sublime!

5) Brin d'Amour or Fleur de Maquis
Seductive and soft on the inside. Spicy and herby on the outside.

These cheeses are all available online through my Amazon Store, Murray's Cheese, and

Bonnes Fêtes!
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Dale said...

thanks for the top 5!!! one is from the Auvergne where we are headed come May - how about their other top cheeses- Cantal, St Nectaire and Salers??? all cow I think!

Waverly said...

Thank you for this timely post on French cheese. I will add them to my shopping list. Today I shop, tomorrow, I cook, and Friday, more than 20 relatives will descend upon us. HO, HO, HO!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

i am going to write these down and take the list to a cheese stall in our covered market in Oxford..hope I can them all :-)

maria said...

salut chex loulou. thank you for these amazing selections. i love to make cheese easy and so amazing. what wine do you suggest for these?

Sandy said...

Thank you! This will help for the next wine and cheese party.

Betty C. said...

Guess what! These are all among my favorites, except that I don't know the Brie you mentioned. Here we often get, and love, Brie de Meaux.

Link to my holiday wishes on FP:

Celebrate well!

Loulou said...

Love Cantal, especially the aged variety, St Nectaire and Salers. Don't forget Laguiole!

Enjoy your holidays and hope you get some cheese to try!

I hope you find all of them. Let me know what you think. :)

Cheese platters are easy, and delicious!
As for the wine pairing:
Bleu d'Auvergne - Côtes du Rhône or Cahors
Comté - Beaujolais or white Sancerre
Brie de Nangis - Beaujolais or Sauvignon Blanc
Pouligny Saint Pierre - Sancerre Blanc, Chenin Blanc or Pouilly Fumé
Brin d'Amour - Côtes de Provence rosé

Hope you're having a great holiday season.

I always knew you had good taste. :)

That Brie is available in the States, but Brie de Melun or Brie de Meaux isn't.
I rarely see Brie de Nangis here, but if you ever find it, you should try it. Quite delicious stuff!
Happy Holidays my friend!

Nadege said...

Good choice! (I don't like Roquefort either)

Ken Broadhurst said...

Three of these cheeses are regulars chez nous. I don't know Brie de Nangis but Bries from Meaux and Melun are delicious.

The key to enjoying Roquefort, if you find it too strong on its own, is to eat it with good sweet butter. Butter on the bread, then Roquefort on the butter. Amazing. When I lived in Normandy nearly 40 years ago, I saw people eating all kinds of cheeses, including strong Camembert, with butter this way. It's worth a try.

Loulou said...


Thanks for the butter and Roquefort idea. I imagine that would really cut the salt and strong flavor a bit, which would make it easier to enjoy.

Jill said...

I tried the Bleu d'Auvergne for the first time earlier this year for our blog and am now completely hooked. I also enjoy the Brie de Nangis much more than Brie de Meaux. Excellent choices!

Loulou said...

Great to know that others agree! And are as cheese crazy as me. :)

Olive and Branch for the home said...

So missing the French cheese this summer! Thanks for the virtual cheese experience!

Chez Loulou said...

You're welcome! Isn't there someplace close to you where you can satisfy your French cheese cravings?

martina said...

They just got more St. Marcellin(my favorite French cheese thus far) at the local store. Will have to see if they have your 5 suggested cheeses too!

Chez Loulou said...

I love Saint Marcellin! You have good taste. :)
Hope you get the chance to try these others.