Tomme is a name given to a family of cheeses produced in the French Alps and in Switzerland. Generally all Tomme cheeses are named after the village where they are produced. Tomme de Savoie is one such variety of Tomme cheese made in the Savoie region of northwestern France.
Tomme de Savoie is made from raw, skimmed cow’s milk after the cream has been drained off to make butter. That is why it is low in fat content, about 20-40%. The taste of the cheese varies throughout the year depending on whether the milk is coming from cows eating winter hay or fresh summer grass. The maturing takes around 2-4 months during which the cheese starts to develop a thick grey rind dotted with patches of yellow or red moulding. Tomme de Savoie is a semi-soft, pressed cheese with a pliable and firm texture. It has numerous irregular “eyes” spread throughout the ivory-coloured paste. The flavours are of grass, nuts and rusticity. Expect some tangy, slight citrus and mushroom notes underlined by odours of cave.
Affineur Walo Le Gruyère AOC Extra Mature is aged for at least 14 months in the caves used by the von Mühlenens since the last 150 years. The von Mühlenens are known to mature the best raw milk artisan cheeses in Switzerland to perfection.
The 'warm' caves at Gruyère help the cheese to achieve a crystalline texture and an intense, more rounded flavour. It is sweet in flavour with floral, fruity notes that grow and fill the mouth. Its silky texture and crunchy quality sets it apart from other Gruyères.
In 2014, Affineur Walo von Mühlenen was the most successful participant at the World Cheese Awards, winning 2 Super Gold, 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze Medals. Individually, Gruyère has won gold medal at the 2014, 2013 World Cheese Awards and Super Gold at the 2013, 2012 World Cheese Awards.
Brie de Portneuf Double Cream is a double cream, bloomy rind cheese made in the style of Brie from pasteurized cow's milk and cream. It has a delicate and natural texture with a melting and creamy body and slightly nutty aroma. The cheese has been a 3rd prize winner at the 2011 & 2014 American Cheese Society awards. Pair a red Burgundy or German Kolsch or Stout to go with the creaminess of the cheese.
Marie Harel created the original Camembert cheese from raw milk in Normandy, France in 1791. Today, however, a very small percentage of producers make cheese from raw milk with the same process as Marie Harel would have used. Those who produce cheese using Marie Harel's method, can legally call their cheese Camembert Normandie under the AOC guidelines. However, the production of Camembert cheese has now transcended the AOC designation. Very good varieties of Camembert cheese made from pasteurised milk can be found in Normandy today. The best of them is the Camembert Le Châtelain.
The fresh Camembert cheese is bland, hard and crumbly in texture. Young Camembert has a milky and sweet taste. As the cheese matures it forms a smooth, runny interior and a white bloomy rind that is typical to Camenbert cheese. It has a rich, buttery flavour. The rind is bloomy white caused by a white fungus, called penicillium candidum.The rind is meant to be eaten with the cheese.
Saint Andre is a triple crème cow's milk cheese produced in Coutances, in the Normandy region of northwestern France. It has a high fat (75%) content because it is further enhanced with heavy cream, making it dense, buttery and rich. The rind is covered with a velvety and powdery bloomy mold while the inside is ivory white in colour. The taste of the cheese is an intense version of the Brie, another famous French soft cheese.
The flavours of the satiny, edible rind are tangy perfectly complementing the rich, slightly salty and decadent centre. Saint-André topped with Caramel Pecan, Craisin-Currant-Walnut, or Roasted Tomato Pine Nut forms an ideal course for Valentine’s Day! The full, buttery taste of Saint Andre can make a white wine taste sour, so it is best suggested with a light beer, dessert wine or a slice of pear. It could also be enjoyed with a crusty French bread or a plain cracker.
Roquefort is a popular French cheese, reported to be a favorite of Emperor Charlemagne. In France, it is called the 'cheese of kings and popes'. This cheese is protected by AOC guidelines. Roquefort cheese is moist and breaks into little pieces easily. Genuine Roquefort is rich, creamy and sharp, tangy, salty in flavour. It is aged for 5 months. It is also mostly used in salads and dressings.
Bleu d'Auvergne is a French blue cheese named after its place of origin in the Auvergne region of south-central France. The cheese can be made from raw or pasteurised milk and is sometimes attributed as cow’s milk version of Roquefort (although it is much creamier and buttery). It was awarded AOC status in 1975 and is available in both artisanal and industrial versions.
Bleu d'Auvergne is creamy ivory colour, dotted with blue-green mould due to the Penicillium roqueforti which gives the cheese its typical bluish-green veins. It is aged for minimum 4 weeks, by which time the cheese showcases its assertive flavours and smooth texture. The rind is moist and sticky unveiling a soft paste with a grassy, herbaceous, and (with age) spicy, peppery, salty, pungent taste. The strong aroma and full flavoured characteristics of the cheese are at its optimum when served with sweet dessert wines such as riesling and sauvignon blanc or strong, robust red wines. The cheese is often used in salad dressings, pastas and also is a good cheese for snacking.
Boursin is a creamy, spreadable brand of Gournay cheese invented by Francois Boursin in 1957. When it was first developed in Normandy, Boursin named it after his small hometown of Gournay and limited the production to Croisy-sur-Eure in France. After the acquisition of the company by Groupe Bel, production started in United States for North American distribution. Even though Boursin is available today in more than 30 countries, it has achieved maximum popularity in France.
Boursin is a fresh cream and soft cheese, flavoured with herbs and spices. Although, it is just an herb-flavoured French cream cheese that can be easily imitated, only Boursin with its buttery flavour and slightly crumbly texture can be labeled as an “All natural Gournay cheese”.
Today, the cheese is available in various flavours whose availability varies from country to country. In most cases, Boursin is spiced up with herbs like tomato, onion, chive, fig, nuts, garlic, pepper, shallot, cranberry, fine herbs & cinnamon. A favorite member from the Boursin family is a low fat version with only 21% fat and is flavoured with garlic & herbs.
Add the original Boursin cheese to salads, pasta or serve it as a typical appetizer. It can be spread on crackers and bread or used on raw vegetables such as carrots, celery and peppers. Also, the cheese melts well to create a smooth sauce for pasta and chicken. This cheese is a favorite brand amongst top chefs. Confidently pair, dry white wine or fruity red wine such as Beaujolais with Boursin.
This is the German version of Emmentaler cheese which originated in Switzerland. It is a hard cheese made from unpasteurised cow's milk. The cheese has a natural rind with a firm texture and a mild nutty flavour. It has a pungent smell. This cheese is comparatively milder than its Swiss conterpart. The Maturation period is for more than 3 months.
Comté (also called Gruyère de Comté or Comte Fort Saint Antoine) is a French cheese produced in the Jura Massif region of Eastern France. The unpasteurised cow's milk used is mainly from Montbeliarde Cattle or French simmental (or cross breeds of the two). This hard mountain cheese is matured to perfection in the silence and darkness of special caves where the cheese gets its unique taste, texture and colour. There are several maturing cellars in the region where Comté is ripened for a minimum of 4 months to 18 or 24 months. A few times, Comté gets its name from the cellar where it has ripened such as Comté Fort Saint-Antoine.
Comté was one of the first few cheeses to receive an AOC (Appellation d'origine controlee) status in 1958. It is one of the most popular AOC cheeses in France with around 40,000 tones of annual production.
Considered one of the finest cheeses in the world, a wedge of Comte reveals a pale yellow interior and a texture that can vary from silky, flabby to crystalline.
There are practically 83 flavours, which can be savored while tasting Comté. But the main aromatic flavours that delicately linger on the palate are a balance of brown-butter and roasted-nut aromas and a sweet finish.
Its ability to melt easily means Comté goes well with many recipes right from fondues to Croque Monsieur. The cheese pairs well with Rhone reds, a Palo Cortado or off-dry Amontillado sherry from Spain.
Fromageries Arnaud, the winner of Super Gold medal at the 2014 World Cheese Awards, is one of the top-notch groups in the world to make French certified-origin cheeses. Today, the Fromagerie counts for roughly 12% of the total Comté production. The cheese is distributed worldwide by British supplier Anthony Rowcliffe & Son. This celebrated cheese has been judged as one of the world's 62 best cheeses.
In addition, Comte produced by Entremont also won a silver medal for its great taste and impeccable texture. Entremont makes Comte in three varieties – 1 year matured Prestige, fruity flavoured Fruité and Vieille Reserve made using traditional methods in 50 small village cheese dairies.
The name ‘Mimolette’ is derived from the French word molle, which means soft. In France, it is famous as Boule de Lille after the city of origin and vieux Hollande. Produced by Losfeld in Lille, it is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese similar to Edam. The aging time varies from 2 months to 24 months.
Along with its orange colour, the cheese has a fruity aroma. Being a good choice for non-vegetarians, it tastes a bit buttery, salty and nutty with 40% fats.
It can be added to salads, omelets and other cooked dishes. It pairs well with Banyuls, Merlot and Sherry.
Morbier is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese named after the small village of Morbier in Franche-Comté. The cheese has an ivory colour, and it is a bit soft and fairly elastic. It gets immediately identified because of its black layer of tasteless ash, which separates horizontally in the middle. Earlier, Morbier was made by a layer of the morning and the evening milk, but these days it is made by a single milking, while ash is added to it to follow the tradition. The cheese takes about 45 days to 3 months for full maturation with yellowish, moist and leathery rind.
Together with 45% fat, it is protected by AOC designation. Morbier has a rich and creamy flavour with small eyes or holes. Sometimes, the cheese leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste and has strong aroma as well. Try this cheese with Gewurztraminer or Pinot Noir.
Port Salut cheese, also called as Port du Salut, comes from Brittany in the Loire Valley, France. It is named after the abbey of Notre Dame du Port du Salut in Entrammes.
Made from pasteurised cow's milk, the cheese was produced by Trappist monks way back in during the 19th century. This semi-soft cheese is produced in form of disks weighing approximately 2 kg (5 lb). Though the cheese is produced in big factories now, the handmade version is still produced by various monasteries throughout the French countryside and enjoys a great demand!
Great snacking companions of this cheese are fruits, steamed asparagus or broccoli, baby greens salad drizzled with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It also a great addition to any cheese board!
Raclette is a semi-hard cheese made on both sides of the French and Swiss Alps. Valais Raclette or Fromage a Raclette, as they are traditionally called, are made using ancestral methods with unpasteurised milk of cows grazing on the alpine meadows. The name Raclette comes from the French word ‘racler’, which means ‘to scrape’. The cheese has got a thin, brownish-orange coloured rind and a pale yellow pate with a few and scattered open holes. It is has a very distinctive pleasant, aromatic smell with a creamy texture, similar to Gruyere cheeses, which does not separate even when melted. The flavour can vary from nutty, slightly acidic to milky.
While Switzerland supplies 80% of Raclettes, French Raclettes are slightly softer with a smooth and creamy flavour. Raclette is also the name of a Swiss dish where the cheese is melted in front of a fire or a special machine and the melted parts are scraped onto diner’s plates. It is then served with small potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions and air dried meat called Viande des Grisons. Raclette comes in round and square shapes and can be served with Vin de Savoie.
St. Nectaire is a French semisoft, washed rind cheese from the Auvergne region of France. Made from the milk of Salers cows that feed on rich, volcanic pastures, St. Nectaire is both a fermier (farmhouse) and industrial cheese. Depending whether the processes are artisanal (raw milk) or industrial (pasteurised milk), the texture attributes in St. Nectaire are vastly different.
AOC awarded, St. Nectaire fremier takes six to eight weeks to mature on rye straw mats, imparting a peculiar pungent smell to the cheese. When properly aged, it has a grayish-purple washed rind, dotted with white, yellow and red molds. The creamy, supple, silky textured paste melts in the mouth to reveal flavours of nuts, hay, cellars and mushroom.
St. Nectaire fremier is easily recognizable by the oval label while the industrial version is stamped with a square label. A glass of Bordeaux, Shiraz, Côtes d'Auvergne or Beaujolais and St. Nectaire will go hand-in-hand.
Ossau-Iraty is a traditional, unpasteurised from the picturesque mountains of Pyrenees that hold a fertile grazing land for the milk-giving ewes. This cheese unites two regions of France in the Western Pyrénées: Ossau in the valley of the Bearn and Iraty in the beech forests of the Pays Basque. It received an AOC protection in 1980, which requires that the cheese be produced with the milk of only two breeds of ewes - Manech and Basco-Béarnaise.
An uncooked and pressed cheese, Ossau-Iraty is semi-hard in texture with a thick, buff rind marked with rust and gray molds. Beneath the brown and orange rind is an ivory white, supple and slightly grainy interior that has a creamy and buttery mouth feel. Flavours are herbaceous, nutty and fruity if the produce is from winter while the summer cheeses tend to reveal aromas of grass and flowers.
Matured for at least 6 months, Ossau-Iraty often comes in a flat cylindrical shape. There are three main sizes available, small (Petit-Ossau-Iraty-Brebis Pyrenes), intermediate (non-fermier) and large (fermier). It is sometimes dusted with paprika leaves to add a kick of flavour. It tastes delicious with fruity red, full-bodied red or white wines such as Zinfandel, Tempranillo or Syrah.
P'tit Basque is a 100% pure sheep's milk cheese produced in France's Basque region in the Pyrenees Mountains, the region that spans the border between France and Spain. Traditionally, it was handmade by shepherds from left over curds set aside from milking their ewes. And even today P'tit Basque is made using the same methods applied by the local shepherds.
The semi-hard cheese is aged for a minimum of 70 days, during which it develops a basket-weave pattern similar to Spain's famous Manchego cheese but with milder and delicate favour. It has a distinctive aroma of sheep's milk, and a smooth, sweet flavour with a nutty finish.
P'tit Basque can be enjoyed as a snack with fruits, with grilled vegetables, fruits, berries and cured meats, and even in salads.
The ivory-colored Bucheron is well known for offering the taste and texture of two cheeses in one. This cheese usually matures for 5-10 weeks, resulting in a dense center and gooey cream line rich in flavor with discreet earthy undertones; truly a delectable blend filled with the flavors of Montchevre's high quality fresh goat's milk. The beautiful rind on the Bucheron makes it the perfect centerpiece for a cheese board; however, it is also delicious melted into a quiche, on a crostini or on your favorite steak.
A mild tasting and richly textured, authentic French style, fresh goat cheese chèvre, vacuum packed to preserve guaranteed freshness and flavor. The most desired of premium goat cheeses, Couturier cheeses can be spread, crumbled, eaten fresh or cooked, and its rich body and flavor makes it choice among bakers.
Pavé d'Affinois, also known as Fromager d'Affinois is a French double cream, soft cheese produced by the Fromagerie Guilloteau Company. It is primarily prepared from cow’s milk but there are variants where goat and sheep’s milk is included. Though similar to Brie in appearance and flavour, this soft-ripened cheese is actually much creamier and takes less time to ripen. This is because, Fromager d'Affinois undergoes a process called ''ultra filtration,'' which allows the milk molecules to break down and mix through the paste. It takes only two weeks to achieve the appetizing, silky fat texture.
Deliciously creamy with a silky-smooth texture, Pavé d'Affinois has a sweet yet mild flavour. It melts in the mouth to reveal a fresh burst of milky goodness and hints of grassy pastures. The soft oozing ivory interiors are coated with an edible bloomy rind.
The cheese is available in several flavours, low fat versions and as a blue mould cheese. Accentuate the rich flavour of the cheese by serving it with French crusty bread, champagne and fresh fruit.