designation guarantees that the cheese
adheres to mandated standards, such as
where it is made, the breed of the animal
whose milk was used, the recipe, and
the shape and techniques. Some of the
techniques date back a thousand years.
other notable cheeses
If I had to choose three favorite French
cheeses, it would be Brie de Meaux,
AOC, Camembert de Normandie, AOC,
and Roquefort, AOC. These cheeses are
made from unpasteurized (raw) cow's
milk and cannot be imported to the U.S.
They are classified as soft, uncooked
bloomy-rind cheeses and have a rich
flavor that is slightly sweet and nutty.
Other French cheeses to try are Brillat-
Savarin, a triple-cream cheese with a
bloomy rind and a velvety interior that
is white or sometimes pale yellow. This
cheese literally dissolves in your mouth
while you taste the rich butter and sweet
cream flavor notes. It reminded me of
Brie, but is so much better. There is also
Crottin de Chavignol. This is among
the most popular goat’s milk cheeses
in France. Crottin de Chavignol, AOC,
must be made from raw goat's milk
around the small town of Chavignol in
the central Loire Valley.
I love blue cheese. If I had to pick just
one, it would be Fourme d'Ambert. It
is an ancient French blue cheese recipe
made from raw cow's milk. If you are one
of those people who believes that the
stinkier the better, then try Livarot, AOC.
This cheese is also made in the Normandy
region and dates back to the 13th century.
Livarot is a washed-rind cheese.
French cheese types
(information from gourmetcheesedetective.com)
Morbier is made from two layers of
cheese. The first layer comes from the
morning milk production and is covered
with a thin layer of ash to protect it from
bugs. The top layer comes from the
evening milk production.
AOC, is an ancient cheese that
dates back to 1000 B.C. A semihard,
uncooked cheese, it is made from raw
sheep’s milk. Versions not labelled
AOC are made from pasteurized
Ossau-Iraty must be made from the
milk of Manech and Basco-Béarnaise
sheep from the Ossau-Iraty region.
It must be aged for a minimum of 90
days, so the AOC version is available
in the U.S. The minimum butterfat
content must be 40-45 percent. This
cheese has a distinctive terroir flavor
that is full and rich with herbal, nutty
undertones. Its texture is supple and
slightly granular, and the interior paste
is ivory to pale yellow and marked
with tiny eyes.
Start your investigation into
gourmet cheese by browsing
videos and lists for advice on
outstanding cheeses. In addition,
learn cheese terms and best
practices for storing cheese at
The Gourmet Cheese Detective.