Cheese

France is the only country that has such a wide range of cheese. Exported all over the world for decades, this heritage was built up over time. Set...

From Alsace to Normandy, Brittany to the Pyrenees, from Provence to Corsica, each part of France has delicious products. In France, every cheese reveals a terroir. Behind every cheese is a dairy tradition. In addition, behind every cheese family is a special process. The cheese making technique, the weight, the shape, and finally, the maturation where its flavour is perfected, all depend on the particular quality of the milk and expertise.

What is cheese?

Cheese is a fermented product produced by coagulating certain milk proteins (caseins). Cheese can be fresh or matured, more or less rich in fat.  A smooth Camembert, a strong Pont-l’Évêque, a tender Saint-Nectaire, a fruity Beaufort… There’s a cheese to suit everyone’s tastes and the food and cooking habits of different continents!

The strengths of French cheeses

1200 varieties of cheese and seven families

There is a wide variety of cheeses. This is due to the different cultural practices of the people who make them. But it can also be explained by the many different types of milk there are (cow's, ewe's, goat’s, buffalo’s - there are lots of dairy breeds). Finally, the production technology used, and whether the milk is raw or pasteurised, means that there is a variety of around ten families. Between authentic cheeses with a strong character which are enjoyed every day, to fondue or spreadable cheese, there are many ways to navigate through this vast family.
What are the different cheese families?

The history of cheeses

Cheese has played an important role in commercial transactions, the payment of taxes to lords and farm rent. With Pasteur's discovery of fermentation microorganisms, the emergence of industrial refrigeration and finally, the development of transport, the art of cheesemaking experienced considerable growth from the 19th century.
Discover the history of French cheeses

An enjoyable and healthy food

Cheese is essential from a nutritional perspective: it is a source of energy (45-450 kcal/100g cheese), proteins and minerals (including calcium and phosphorus, particularly for cooked pressed cheeses). To varying degrees, it is also high in vitamins A, D and B (present in the mould of veined cheeses and the soft centres of cheeses with bloomy rinds).
More information about nutritional benefits