- French Cheeses
- Quality of cheese
- The French way of life
© V. RIBAUT / Les Studios Associés / CNIEL
Created in the Chablais Alps, this cheese is produced in the mountainous area of the Haute-Savoie. Made with raw, whole milk, this cheese has enjoyed a registered designation of origin (AOC) since 1990 and a protected designation of origin (AOP) since 1996. Its history dates back to the 14th century when the monks of Abondance Abbey selected the Abondance breed of cattle, set up pastures, encouraged the manufacture of a high-quality cheese, and made it known to the outside world. As early as 1381, Abondance cheese was served at the papal conclave in Avignon.
The production of each wheel of smear-ripened, lightly-cooked pressed cheese with its concave heel requires between 18 and 31 gallons of milk. At least three months’ maturation is necessary to develop the subtle flavors provided by the natural flora of the pastures. A wheel of Abondance cheese is recognizable by the blue casein stamp on its heel: oval for the farmhouse varieties and square for the dairy varieties.
Small wheel of smear-ripened cheese with a brownish-orange, often moist rind. The paste is more or less yellow depending on the season during which it was produced. The cheese is very dense, with a few small, round holes and sometimes fine cracks.
The aroma of the paste is relatively complex, at once redolent of cream, pastures and the barnyard. Its texture is very firm, but it melts in the mouth with finesse. Its flavor is salty without being excessively so, with a touch of bitterness and a long aftertaste.