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|Country of origin||France|
|Source of milk||Cows|
|Dimensions||35 to 75cm, 11 to 16 cm concave heel|
|Weight||20 to 70 Kg|
|Aging time||12-15 months|
|Certification||French AOC April 4, 1968|
Beaufort (French pronunciation: [bo.fɔʁ] is a firm, raw cow's milk cheese associated with the gruyère family. An Alpine cheese, it is produced in Beaufort, which is located in the Savoie region of the French Alps.
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There are three varieties of Beaufort:
- Beaufort de Savoie (or summer Beaufort)
- Beaufort d’alpage (made in chalets in the Alps)
- Beaufort d'hiver (winter Beaufort)
Preparation and Production
To make Beaufort, first, the milk is heated and then cast into a beechwood hoop or mold which gives the cheese its distinctive concave shape. It is pressed for 24 hours, taken out of the hoops and then cooled for another 24 hours. Once cooled, it is soaked in brine and then stored on spruce shelves for one to two months. During this part of the process, one side of the cheese is hand-salted each morning, then turned over and massaged each afternoon. Once the cheese rind has reached a level of maturity, the cheese is smear-ripened with a mixture called morge which produces its strong flavor and pale yellow rind. The prepared cheese must then age for 6–12 months, or even longer, in a cool mountain cellar.
Taste and Texture
Beaufort cheese is pale yellow, with a smooth and creamy texture and lacks holes like other Gruyère-style cheeses, Comté, Vacherin Fribourgeois or Emmental. Beaufort also has a very distinct aroma, sometime described as strong or mildly pungent and reminiscent of the pastures on which the Tarentaise and Abondance cows graze to provide the milk used for the cheese.
- Official website of the Syndicat de Défense du Fromage Beaufort (Beaufort Cheese Defence Union)
- "PRODUIT: Beaufort (Version du 03/06/2003 )". Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- Frédérique Hermine (8). "Le beaufort capitalise sur le tourisme montagnard". Les Marches. La société ABC (Agro Business Communications). Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- Fox, Patrick. Cheese: Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology. p. 200.
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