The Flowery Paste
The cheeses of this family go through an important maturing process. On the outside, these cheeses are white and downy and on the inside, the texture is soft and creamy. They lightly smell like mushrooms, yeast, moss or wet soil, and their flavor suggest the aromas of mushroom, hazelnut and butter. We can find more than 5000 different kind of flowery paste in France but the the best known are the camembert, the brie and the neufchâtel.
The Washed Paste
The skin of the washed paste cheeses is washed with wine that make its colour either red, orange or pink. These cheeses are creamy and we can feel the taste of grapes, forest and nuts. They can be made with either pasteurized or raw milk. Among these cheeses, the best know are the soumaintrain, the époisses, the langres, the livarot, the pont-l’évêque, the maroilles, the mont-d’or, the vacherin du haut Doubs, the munster-géromé.
Pressed Paste Cooked
Cheeses of this type have a firm and brown skin. They are traditionally made in the mountains, in summer, when the milk is rich and abundant. Therefore, the paste is yellow and become “buttery in the mouth”. They are relatively dense and have a firm consistency. They are made with slow cooked cow milk and are aged between 4 to 40 months! Some are in the form of very large wheels (up to 110 kg!), while others have a medium format. Among these cheeses, the best know are the comté, the beaufort, the abondance, the emmental, the tête de moine, the parmigiano.
Uncooked Pressed Paste
Uncooked pressed cheeses are made either from cow’s milk or sheep’s milk, raw or pasteurized. The skin of the cheeses can be more or less thick depending on the length of the maturing process and gives the cheese all its flavor and aroma. There are about thirty uncooked pressed cheeses in France and the best known are the reblochon, the tomme de Savoie and the cantal. These cheeses often owe their name to the abbeys where they were made.
Blue cheeses are made either from cow’s milk or sheep’s milk. Regardless of the milk, these cheeses are found in the mountainous regions of France. The best known of them for cow’s milk are the blue or the fourme d’Ambert, and for sheep’s milk, the roquefort.
There is a multitude of goat cheese. Crottins, brique, logs, sticks, pyramids… They have very different textures and tastes. They can be made from raw or pasteurized goat’s milk. Some are also made from a mix of goat’s milk and cow’s milk, with a minimum of 50% minimum goat’s milk. Among the goat cheeses, the most renowned ones are the chevrotin, the crottin de chavignol, the pélardon and the rocamadour.