Top 5 fun facts about French cheese

A fresh baked baguette, a chilled glass of wine, an elegant beret and a delicate slice of cheese, that is how you fill the perfect French stereotype. Cheese is truly a part of the French identity and you can’t leave Paris without trying a few different varieties! The French tradition of “le fromage” is extremely famous around the world but if you want to be a cheese expert during your stay in Paris, read on and find out our top 5 fun facts about French cheese!

Say “cheeeese

Top 5 fun facts about French cheese

To characterize the over-categorizing mind of the French, French President Charles de Gaulle was famously quoted as saying “Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?” which means “How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?” in English. And indeed, a lifetime is not enough to taste all the cheese that exist in France! There may be more than three hundred kinds of cheese made in France, divided between the soft and hard cheeses, depending on the consistency of the dough. There is one for every day of the year!

Cheese is a serious matter


French cheese is protected in France by the Appellation d’Origine Protégé (AOP), along with champagne. What is the AOP? It is a certification that the cheese you spread on your baguette has been made in a specific region using agreed production methods. A really high quality cheese will wear the AOP certificate, and promote its traditional way of production.

If you’re interested in trying the best cheese there is and be sure you’re tasting quality AOP certified cheese, you should go to the Montorgueil neighborhood. This is Parisians favorite area to shop for quality food. I’m sure it will be yours too!

The older, the better


Cheese do not have expiration dates! In fact, the older a cheese is, the better it will taste. A very strong scent is a good sign of a tasty cheese. Hold your breath and enjoy! For instance, the Blue Cheese was actually invented by a young French peasant forgetting his cheese in a cave and finding it months later. Today, the Bleu is first inoculated with varieties of penicilium, before being left to age for at least three to five months.

Cheese and its homeland


Next on our top 5 fun facts about French cheese is the fact that each cheese is typical of a region of France, and is the pride and the joy of its inhabitants. It is linked to the idea of “terroir“, which is the shaping of one’s regional identity, along with the wine and customs. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the most famous cheese and their birth regions:

  • The Beaufort from Savoy
  • The Cantal from Auvergne
  • The Camembert from Normandie
  • The Chabichou from Poitou
  • The Comté from France-Comté
  • The Maroilles from Nord-Pas-De-Calais
  • The Roquefort from Midi-Pyrénées
  • Fromage ou dessert?


    Cheese is actually so popular in France that it is a part of the meal. The French usually have some cheese in between the main course and the dessert. Along with salad or grape, it should be served at room temperature with a glass of wine or brandy. The “plateau de fromage“, the cheese board, should propose at least three variety with among them a cooked cheese, a veined cheese and a soft cheese with a rind.

    I’ve now shared with you our top 5 fun facts about French cheese! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and that it has been useful! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything! Trying some French cheese is probably in your to-do list while in Paris. If you want to live the Parisian experience to the fullest, you really should have some cheese, especially in the Montmartre if possible! It is definitely worth it!

    See you soon in Paris!

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