List of French cheeses

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Map of major AOC cheeses; the size of the symbol equates to the size of production.

This is a list of cheeses from France. Traditionally, there are from 350 to 400 distinct types of French cheese grouped into eight categories 'les huit familles de fromage'.[1] There can be many varieties within each type of cheese, leading some to claim closer to 1,000 different types of French cheese.[1]

In 1962, 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?" ("How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?")[2]

Protected designation of origin[edit]

Under the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, certain established cheeses, including many French cheeses, are covered by a protected designation of origin (PDO), and other, less stringent, designations of geographical origin for traditional specialities, such as the French appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system, the Italian denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) system, and the Spanish Denominación de origen system.

A complete list of agricultural products with an EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), or Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG), listed alphabetically by nation, is at the Europa Agriculture website.[3]

French cheese production is classified under four categories, and PDO/AOC rules dictate which category(ies) each protected cheese may be assigned to:[4]

  • Fermier: A farmhouse cheese, which is produced on the farm where the milk is produced.
  • Artisanal: A producer producing cheese in relatively small quantities using milk from their own farm, but may also purchase milk from local farms.
  • Coopérative: A dairy with local milk producers in an area that have joined to produce cheese. In larger coopératives quantities of cheese produced may be relatively large, akin to some industriel producers (many may be classed as factory-made[5]).
  • Industriel: A factory-made cheese from milk sourced locally or regionally, perhaps all over France (depending on the AOC/PDO regulations for specific cheeses).

56 cheeses are classified, protected, and regulated under French law. The majority are classified as Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), the highest level of protection. Some are also protected under the less stringent but still legally regulated designation Label Régional (LR). A few French cheeses are protected under the European Union's Protected Geographic Indication designation (PGI). Many familiar generic types, like Boursin, are not covered. It may come as a surprise to see varieties of Emmental cheese protected as a French cheese. This list differs from those of AOC status.

Cheese
Year designated AOC
Producing region
Type of milk
Designation
Abondance 1990 Haute-Savoie Cow AOC
Banon 2003 Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Goat AOC
Beaufort 1968 Savoie Cow AOC
Bleu d'Auvergne 1975 Auvergne Cow AOC
Bleu des Causses 1979 Midi-Pyrénées Cow AOC
Bleu de Gex, du Haut-Jura, or de Septmoncel 1977 Franche-Comté Cow AOC
Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage 1998 Rhône-Alpes Cow AOC
Brie de Meaux 1980 Ile-de-France Cow AOC
Brie de Melun 1980 Ile-de-France Cow AOC
Brocciu Cara or Brocciu 1983 Corsica Sheep AOC
Cabecou 1988 Midi-Pyrénées Goat AOC
Cancoillotte n/a Franche-Comté Cow LR
Cantal, Fourme de Cantal, or Cantalet 1956 Auvergne Cow AOC
Camembert de Normandie 1983 Normandy Cow AOC
Cazelle de Saint Affrique n/a Midi-Pyrénées, Aveyron Department Sheep AOC
Chabichou du Poitou 1990 Poitou-Charentes Goat AOC
Chaource 1970 Champagne-Ardenne Cow AOC
Chevrotin 2002 Savoie and Haute-Savoie Goat AOC
Comté 1952 Franche-Comté Cow AOC
Crottin de Chavignol 1976 Centre (French region) Goat AOC
Emmental de Savoie n/a Savoie Cow PGI
Emmental français est-central n/a Franche-Comté Cow PGI
Époisses de Bourgogne 2004 Burgundy Cow AOC
Fourme d'Ambert 1972 Auvergne Cow AOC
Fourme de Montbrison 1972 Auvergne Cow AOC
Fromage blanc or fromage frais
Gruyère 2007 Switzerland Cow AOC
Laguiole 1961 Auvergne Cow AOC
Langres 1991 Champagne-Ardenne Cow AOC
Livarot 1972 Normandy Cow AOC
Mâconnais 2006 Burgundy Goat AOC
Maroilles or Marolles 1976 Nord-Pas-de-Calais Cow AOC
Mimolette n/a Nord-Pas-de-Calais Cow LR
Mont d'or, or Vacherin du Haut-Doubs 2006 Franche-Comté Cow AOC
Morbier 2000 Franche-Comté Cow AOC
Munster or Munster-Géromé 1969 Alsace and Vosges départements in Lorraine (region) Cow AOC
Neufchâtel 1969 Normandy Cow AOC
Ossau-lraty 1980 Aquitaine Sheep AOC
Pélardon 2000 Languedoc-Roussillon Goat AOC
Picodon de l'Ardèche or de la Drôme 1983 Rhône-Alpes Goat AOC
Pont-l'Évêque 1976 Normandy Cow AOC
Pouligny-Saint-Pierre 1972 Centre (French region) Goat AOC
Reblochon or Reblochon de Savoie 1958 Haute-Savoie Cow AOC
Rigotte de Condrieu 2008 Lyon Goat AOC
Rocamadour 1996 Midi-Pyrénées Goat AOC
Roquefort 1925 Midi-Pyrénées Sheep AOC
Sainte-Maure de Touraine 1990 Centre (French region) Goat AOC
Saint-Nectaire 1955 Auvergne Cow AOC
Saint-Félicien n/a Rhône-Alpes Cow LR
Salers 1979 Auvergne Cow AOC
Selles-sur-Cher 1975 Centre (French region) Goat AOC
Tome des Bauges (fr) 2002 Savoie Cow AOC
Tomme de Savoie and Haute-Savoie n/a Savoie Cow PGI
Tomme des Pyrénées n/a Midi-Pyrénées Cow PGI
Trou du Cru n/a Burgundy, Côte-d'Or Department Cow AOC
Valençay 1998 Centre (French region) Goat AOC

Popular French cheeses[edit]

Cheese seller in France
  1. Camembert (AOC)
  2. Brie de Meaux (AOC)
  3. Roquefort (AOC)
  4. Boursin
  5. Reblochon (AOC)
  6. Munster (AOC)
  7. Pont l'Évêque (AOC)
  8. Époisses (AOC)
  9. Chèvre
  10. Tomme de Savoie (AOC)
  11. Livarot (AOC)

AOC = protected by the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée

Other French cheeses[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Quelles sont les grandes familles de fromages ? - Module fromage - Sommaire - Tout savoir sur le fromage - Fromages et Nutrition - Institut Fromages & Santé". Institut-fromages-et-sante.com. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  2. ^ Les Mots du Général, Ernest Mignon (1962))
  3. ^ http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/index_en.htm
  4. ^ Masui, T.; Tomoko, Y.; Hodgson, R.; Robuchon, J. (2004). French Cheeses. DK. ISBN 1-4053-0666-1. 
  5. ^ Barthélemy, Roland; Sperat-Czar, Arnaud (2004). Cheeses of the world. Hachette Illustrated (London). ISBN 1-84430-115-X. 

External links[edit]