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Cheese types:

Hard/pressed cheeses:

Abondance / Abondance de Savoie – Abondance is a raw milk, fragrant cheese, and is made in the Haute Savoie region of France.

Cantal – A firm cheese, and one of the oldest cheeses in France. It is most similar to that of an English farmhouse chedder. The longer this cheese ages, the sharper the flavour becomes.

Comté – Made from unpasteurized cow’s milk in eastern France. Comté is one of the most popular cheeses, where 40,000 tonnes are produced annually.

Emmental – Emmental is a Swiss cheese, taking its name from the Emme valley in Switzerland. Emmental is made in the Franche-Comte, Savoie, and more recently in Brittany and Charente.

Fromage à Pâte Dure – A very hard cheese, similar to that of Parmesan.

Fromage à Pâte Demi dure / Fromage à Pâte Mi-dure – A semi-hard cheese, that is similar to that of a young, matured cheddar.

Gruyère – A firm, pale, and creamy cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. Its name comes from the Gruyere valley of Fibourg, Switzerland.

Mimolette – An orange coloured, round cheese, made in the area of Lille in the north of France. This cheese was originally made as a French variation to the Dutch cheese, Edam.

Ossau-Iraty – A cheese produced from sheep’s milk. It is has a smooth, firm and creamy texture.

(Tomme des) Pyrénées – Pyrénées comes with a distinctive black skin. Overall it is a fairly subtle cheese that will appeal to those who do not like the more strong-tasting cheeses.

Reblochon - A rich soft, pressed cheese, which is made in the caves situated around the French Alps. Reblochon has quite a strong flavour, and a creamy texture.

Soft cheeses:

Brie – Brie, named after the French region from which is originated, is one of the best-known French cheeses. Brie is a soft, buttery, and pale cheese with a distinct white rind.

Brillat-Savarin – A soft, triple cream cheese produced from pasteurised cow’s milk. Brillat-Savarin is a cheese that was produced in the 1930s, by a cheese maker named Henri Androuët.

Camembert – Camembert cheese is made with ripened cow’s milk. Camembert is a very soft and creamy cow’s milk cheese, and is produced in Normandy, France. Camembert works great when baked, and eaten with a French baguette.

Époisses de Bourgogne – A soft cow’s milk cheese, produced in the village Époisses in France. This cheese is pungent, but with a surprisingly mellow flavor, and a rind that is washed with Marc de Bourgogne (An aged French spirit)

Fromage à Pâte Molle – This is a description used for soft yellow cheeses, for example Camembert or Brie.

Gaperon – A fluffy, domed shaped cheese produced from cow’s milk, infused with black peppercorns and garlic.

Mont d'Or (Vacherin) – A rich and creamy cow’s milk cheese wrapped in a spruce bark.

Munster or Munster-Géromé – A soft, strong tasting cheese with a washed rind. The milk that is used for this cheese comes from the Vosgiennes cows, a breed of cow that was imported in the 18th century from Scandinavia. The milk from these cows is known for their high protein content.

Neufchâtel – A partly crumbly, and soft cheese that is produced in Neufchatel-en-Bray in Normandy, France. It has a similar appearance to Camembert, but the flavours are noticably sharper. It is also almost always sold in a very distinct heart shape.

Pont l'Evèque – This cheese’s name is believed have derived from that of ‘Norman Abbey’ in Normandy, France. Here it was largely produced in the 12th century. You will often see Pont l’Eveque sold as a small, square shaped cheese. It is soft, very rich and creamy and makes a great dessert cheese!

Saint-Nectaire – A semi-soft cheese that is made from cows that feed on very rich volcanic pastures, of the Auvergne region in France. A very popular cheese, and some claim it is also the greatest of all French cheeses!

Valençay – Made in central France, in the province of Berry. Valençay is a soft goats milk cheese with a flavoured rind and a fresh, nutty taste.

Blue cheeses:

Bleu d’Auvergne – A blue, rich and creamy French cheese, named after its place of origin in Auvergne, a region located in southern/central France.

Bleu de Bresse – A soft, mild, blue cheese made from whole cow’s milk, with a firm and edible rind. This cheese comes from the area of Bresse in France, following World War II.

Bleu des Causses – A French, blue cheese that is considered a mild, cow’s milk variant of Roquefort. This crumbly and creamy cheese is aged for a period of 3 – 6 months in natural, limestone caves of Gorges du Tarn’s.

Bleu de Chevre – Directly translated as ‘Blue Goat’s cheese’, this cheese is produced in Boissy-Saint-Leger, and has a creamy, smooth consistency with a spicy flavor.

Bleu de Gex – A very popular blue cheese, and a French specialty. Blue de Gex is a blue, semi soft unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese, produced in the French region of Jura.

Fourme d'Ambert – One of France’s oldest cheeses, dating back from the Roman period. Fourme d’Ambert is a light-tasting, blue cheese from the area around the town of Ambert in the region of Auvergne.

Fromages à Pâte Persillée – Blue cheeses. Many blue cheeses are from the région of Savoie, Savoy, and have the word persillé in their name.

Morbier – A blue, slightly soft cheese made from cow’s milk, and named after the village Morbier in the region Franche-Comté. It is considered one of the smelliest of the French cheeses, but yet has a surprisingly soft flavour.

Roquefort - The most famous French blue cheese. It is made from the milk of one single breed of sheep, the Lacaune.

Other cheeses:

Boursin – A soft, cream cheese from Normandy produced by Francois Boursin. Boursin can be bought in many varying flavours, but its most popular is Garlic and Fine Herbs. A very moreish cheese that works perfectly when paired with crackers or fresh bread!

Cancoillotte – A French, yellow, creamy, and runny cheese made from Metton cheese (Metton is cooked in a pot with water, milk, salt, but and sometimes garlic) and produced in Franche-Comté.

Crottin de Chavignol – The most famous goats cheese, produced in Loire Valley, France. It is a small, round shaped cheese that can be eaten at various stages of maturity to give different flavours and textures.

Raclette - Raclette is a mass-produced industrial cheese designed for a "raclette", i.e. a meal in which thin slices of cheese are heated and melted then poured over baked potatoes and eaten with gherkins, mountain ham and other accompaniments.


Brebis - A sheep/ewe. The word Brebis will also be on the cheese’s packaging, or on the menu in a French restaurant, for all sheep’s cheese.

Bufflonne – A water buffalo. In France this is the European water buffalo.

Chèvre – A goat.

Vache – A cow


Assiette de Fromage – A cheese plate. In a restaurant this will typically be with a selection of two to four cheeses.

Beurre - Butter.

Buche - A log. A number of cheeses, especially goat’s cheeses, are shaped like small logs, and so the word buche will often be found in the name of a log-shaped cheese.

Caillebotte – A fresh, creamy and traditional goat’s cheese. It is made with pasteurized milk and has a fat content that may vary from 30% up to 60%.

Caillé - Cheese curds. Curds are part of the cheese making process and may be sold in their original form.

Carré - A square. Like the buche, this can also sometimes be used in the cheese’s name.

La Croûte – This is the word for the cheese rind itself. The majority of cheese rinds are edible, though there are of course some exceptions to this.

Crémerie - A cheese shop, can also be called a Fromagerie.

Dégustation – A tasting.

Double-crème - Double-cream cheese. These types of cheeses will have a fat content of 60% or more.

Eau-de-vie - An alcohol consisting of fruit or wine. Many French cheeses are washed with this whilst they mature.

Entre Deux – This is a description that used for cow’s milk cheeses and meaning between the two. The description indicates cheeses matured for 3 to 6 months.

Étuvé Mature – Matured

Faisselle - A perforated draining mold used for soft cheeses. This can also be the name, or part of the name, for some soft white cheeses.

Farandole de Fromage – The cheese trolley in a restaurant.

Fermier – A farmer.

Feuille - A Leaf. Cheeses sold á la feuille are wrapped in leaves.

Fourme – The mold or form in which the cheese is made. Fourme is also part of the name a number of French cheeses.

Frais or Fraiche - Fresh.

Fromage au Choix – Your choice of cheeses.

Fromage au Lait Biologique – Cheese made with organically produced milk. These cheeses must have a label clearly showing the mark AB, Agriculture Biologique.

Fromage Blanc – A name used for many soft white cheeses. Most of these cheeses are made from skimmed milk, which has no fat. In a restaurant or in a French home these cheeses are often served as a dessert usually with added fruit, honey or sugar. These are somewhat bland cheeses and if the same cheese is available with goat’s or sheep’s milk rather than with cows’ milk; you will have a tastier cheese.

Fromage de Lait Cru – Cheese made with unpasteurized milk.

Fromage de Lait Entière – Cow’s milk cheese made with full fat milk. To be called a full fat milk cheese in Europe, it must have at least 3.5% fat in the milk.

Fromages à Pâte Pressée Non Cuite – This describes the way pressed cheeses are made.

Fromages à Pâte Pressée Cuite – Hard cheeses. These cheeses go through a relatively strong cooking process followed by pressing.

Fromage de Vache et Brebis - A cheese that is made with a combination of both sheep’s milk and cow’s milk.

Fromage Doux – A mild cheese.

Fromage Fermiers – Farm made cheeses.

Fromage Gras – A cheese that has 50% to 60% fat. The fat in a cheese will be on its label as a percentage marked: ‘Matières Grasse’.

Fromage Jeune – A young, mild cheese made using cow’s milk. These cheeses are usually matured for only one to two months.

Fromage Maigre - A low fat cheese, with less than 20% fat.

Fromage Mi- Chèvre – A cheese that is made with a combination of both goat’s milk and cow’s milk.

Fromage Râpée - Grated cheese.

Fromagerie - A cheese shop, or a Crémerie.

Lait Cru - Unpasteurized milk.

Lait de Mélange – Cheeses that are produced from a mixture of different milks.

Louche - The traditional ladle that is used to put cheese curds into molds.

Matières Grasse - Fat. On the cheese-packaging label you will find the words ‘Matières Grasse’ and will be followed by a number that indicates the percentage of fat in the cheese.

Mi- chèvre - A cheese that is made with at least 50% goat's milk. The remainder will usually be cow’s milk.

Petit Lait - The whey. Whey is a liquid that is left after a cheese has been curdled and strained. Other low-fat cheeses will be made with the whey.

Présure animale – Rennet derived from animals (Non-vegetarian)

Présure végétale – Vegetable rennet

Triple crème -Triple cream cheeses. Triple-cream cheeses will have 75% or more fat.

Vieux - Old. A description that is often used for cow’s milk cheeses matured from six to twenty-four months.

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