Say Cheese!

Written by Erica Paredes

It's true that the French love their cheese. For a lot of the world, the cheese experience is limited to the processed cheddar singles or string varieties, but a visit to France will introduce you to hundreds of different kinds of cheese. Yes, it is definitely serious business in this part of the world. Like wine, cheese is regional and there are certain kinds that are certified as only being from that region. It all might seem confusing, but thankfully, there are specialty shops and delis in any country you may be, that carries cheese from around the world.

If you want to become more French-cheese savvy, here's a list you can start with:

Camembert - Originally from Normandy in Northern France, this soft, semi-ripened cow's cheese is a popular variety internationally and many versions exist. Not to be confused with Brie, which looks and tastes similar.

Brie - Looks wise, it seems to be almost exactly the same as Camembert, but Brie is, first of all, originally from Ile de France. The ripening process also differs and while Camembert is sold in whole, smaller wheels, Brie is usually cut into wedges from a larger one.

Roquefort - This is a semi-hard bleu cheese that originates from the south of France. It is a crumbly cheese with a salty and tangy flavor and is riddled with veiny mold. This might be an acquired taste but it's been said that once you love it, there is no turning back.

Chevre - Named after the French name for goat, chevre is produced in many parts of the world, but France produces the largest amount of it, mostly in Loire Valley and Poitou. Some varieties are more soft and buttery, like cream cheese, while others have a more distinct goat's milk taste.


Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen
is the founder of The Parisian Diet, which is about the pleasure of eating and being able to eat all types of food.

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