Cheese varieties in French Culture that you must know

Cheese varieties in French Culture
What does cheese mean to us? For most of us, it is tasty – may be delectably delicious. It is something to add to our meals or make a snack of its own. You may also serve a plate of cheese toast to your guests. But do you know that cheese is more than that for the French?

In French, cheese is not a food; it is beyond just a piece of food. Cheese is a culture. 
The French love for cheese is legendary and real. According to surveys, around 96% of French people eat cheese daily. Cheese is a cultural touchstone in France. 

Le Fromage is the French word for cheese. It is a masculine word and its plural is Les Fromages. If you want to ask for “cheese” in general, you would say du Fromage. 
Some countries have a few varieties of cheese that they are proud of, but the French own an unbelievable amount of them. Approximately, they hover around 200-300 varieties of cheese. 

Importance of cheese in French culture
Cheese is important both culturally and culinary. Cheese is so imbibed in the French culture that you would think it has been invented there. One interesting study has suggested that there could be a few reasons for their obsession with cheese, for example, the French are rule followers when it comes to eating and classifying food. They desire to hold on to a product and associate the same with their distinct French culture. 

Main Categories of French cheese
Let us come to the main topic of this piece – the types of cheese in French. Here are some kinds of French cheese that we recommend tasting at least once. 
Cheese in French culture is segregated into three categories, and they are: 
•	Pressed cheeses
•	Soft Cheeses 
•	Blue Cheeses 
Further, cheese in French culture is made from different types of milk. It is traditionally made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and sheep’s milk. Additionally, the types of cheeses are also divided into two origins: 
•	Farmhouse (fromages fremiers) and 
•	Industrially manufactured cheeses. 
Let us now see some of the cheeses from each category. 

Pressed Cheeses, which are all made from cow’s milk
In this category, you will find a selection of the best-known pressed cheeses in France. These cheeses mostly come in large units; the slices are then cut off by the merchants. There is cooked and uncooked cheese in this category. 

1.	Cantal: This is a very tasty uncooked cheese from the Auvergne mountains. Cantal is a kind of cheese that is quite close to an English farmhouse cheddar or Chester. Cantal also comes in two varieties The taste and strength of this cheese increase with age. 
2.	Comte: This is a delicious French cheese, which is a cousin of Swiss ‘Gruyere’ cheese. It is gourmet cheese from the Comte region of eastern France. The cheese mostly comes without holes. 

Soft cheeses
You can find hundreds of soft cheeses, each with its specialty. Some of them are: 
1.	Brie: You can find two types of Brie cheese, Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun. Both kinds of cheeses are named after two towns near Paris. The cheese comes as a thin round cheese about 20 inches in diameter with a soft white crust. 
2.	Camembert: It is a cheese from Normandy, Camembert is perhaps the most famous French cheese, and it is also known and imitated worldwide. 
3.	Epoisses: It is a strong “rind- washed” soft cheese from the Burgundy region. This is a thicker cheese and is yellowish on the outside and white on the inside. 

Blue Cheeses 
The quality and taste of these cheese vary considerably, going from bland to sharp. Even when you go to French supermarkets and taste them before picking one for yourself. Here are some popular types of Blue Cheeses. 
1.	Blue De Bresse: Made in the Bresse area of France, is a soft and spreadable cheese, a perfect imitation of Danish blue cheese. The cheese is made from whole milk and has a firm edible coating. 
2.	Bleu de Causses: It is a delicious range of cheese, strong in taste. It is made from cow’s milk and is sometimes quite crumbly. 
3.	Bleu de Gex: It is a blue cheese from the Swiss border. It is a creamy semi-soft cheese made from the unpasteurized milk produced in the Jura region of France. 

As we stated, there are hundreds of cheeses that you can find in the French Culture. We came up with some of the most popular ones that you need to know about. 
With LearnPlant you don’t learn just the language but you learn about French culture as well. And our native teacher makes it even more interesting and meaningful by planting trees on your behalf as a gesture to the environment. This is the French way with LearnPlant.

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