This is a
list of cheeses from
Traditionally, there were from 350
to 400, but there are now over 1,000.
Some French cheeses
Cheese seller in France
Protected Designation of Origin
Policy of the European Union,
certain established cheeses, including many French cheeses, are
covered by a Protected
Designation of Origin and other, less stringent designations of
geographical origin for traditional specialities (for details see
the French Appellation d'Origine
Contrôlée (AOC) system, the Denominazione di Origine
Controllata (DOC) system used in Italy, and the
origen system used in Spain).
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 site
French cheese production is classified under four categories, and
PDO/AOC rules dictate which category(ies) each protected cheese may
be assigned to:
- 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).
- Industriel: A factory-made cheese from milk
sourced locally or regionally, perhaps all over France (depending
on the AOC/PDO regulations for specific cheeses).
List of protected French cheeses
A map of major AOC cheeses; the size
of the cheese symbol equates to the size of production
56 cheeses are classified, protected, and regulated under French
law. The majority are classified as Appellation d'origine
(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
protected as a French
This list differs from those of AOC
Popular French cheeses
2. Brie de Meaux*
7. Pont l'Evèque
10. Tomme de Savoie*
- = protected by the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée
1. Camembert is a soft, ripened cheese made from unpasteurized
cow’s milk. It originated in Normandy, coming from the Pays d’Auge,
the historic name for the region and time period it came from. Real
Camembert de Normandie must have the VCN stamp of approval on the
label. Since raw milk cheeses are not allowed into the US (although
domestic raw milk cheese may be sold), impostor Camemberts are
made. Camembert has a slight salty taste with a sweet tang.
2. Brie de Meaux comes from the Ile-de-France region. It is made
with both pasteurized and unpasteurized cows milk. This cheese
comes in small platter sized disks and is wrapped in wax paper and
put inside a wooden box to keep it at the perfect ripeness and
freshness. Has a mushroom like aroma and a nutty garlic
3. Roquefort is a type of blue cheese. It is made from
unpasteurized sheep’s milk, and has a soft, edible rind. This
cheese is similar to a French Bleu des Causses of and Bleu
d’Auvergne due to its subtle flavor and salty rind. This cheese is
supplied by four companies.
4. Boursin is a triple-créme cow’s milk type of Brie, coming from
the Ile-de-France region. It is sold in pasteurized and
unpasteurized forms. This cheese has a 75% fat content, similar to
all triple-créme cheeses. Boursin is smooth, and has a nutty
flavor. It is rich and creamy.
5. Reblochon is made in the Savoie and Haute-Savoie regions of
France. It is an unpasteurized cheese with a soft texture similar
to Brie. Though unpasteurized cheese aged less than 60 days is not
allowed through US ports, some makers age it a few days longer
(normally aged 50 to 55 days), so it can come into the US. Has a
sweet beefy flavor.
6. Munster is from the Alsace region of France. This cheese has a
dry, firm, inedible rind when young, and is dark and smooth when
ripe. The cheese is soft and creamy, and has a beefy favor.
7. Pont l'Evèque originated from the Pays d’Auge in Normandy. This
cheese comes in eight to thirteen ounce, boxed squares, and has a
50% fat content. It is sold both pasteurized and unpasteurized. It
is similar to Camembert, with a more intense flavor.
8. Époisses comes from Burgundy, France. IT is illegal in the US
due to being unpasteurized. This cheese has a rustic smell. It has
a reddish brown rind, and a vibrant flavor. The cheese is packaged
in small wooden boxes.
9. Chèvre is a soft, mild, goat cheese. It is molded in cylinders,
so has a round tube-like shape. It has a sharp and tangy flavor
when aged a long period.
10. Tomme de Savoie originated in Savoie, France. It is a
pasteurized and unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese. It is
semi-pressed, because it is made from pressed curds. The rind is
natural yet inedible. This cheese has a very low 20% to 40% fat
content. There is a noticeable fuzz on the outside rind, and has
mild yet savory flavor and aroma.
Other French cheeses
- "A country producing almost 360 different types of cheese
- :Winston Churchill in june
- "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?")
- :Charles de Gaulle (from
Les Mots du Général, Ernest Mignon (1962))
- "Un repas sans fromage est une belle à qui il manque un
- ("A meal without cheese is a beautiful woman with an eye
- :Brillat-Savarin (from La
Physiologie du goût)