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French Holiday Culinary Delights - Cheese  30/10/2014

What can evoke the feeling of a French holiday better than a fresh baguette with creamy brie and slices of locally grown juicy tomatoes?

French Cheese

The French take great pride in their cheeses and enjoy tasting the rich variety of flavours that are on offer. If you are only familiar with Brie, Camembert and Roquefort, you may be surprised to hear that France produces hundreds of different cheeses, each with a distinct flavour.

If you are enjoying a holiday in France, you may notice the letters AOC on many French cheeses. AOC stands for Appellation d’Origine Controlee. AOC cheeses can only be made in the region from which they originate. A sign of authenticity, AOC determines many factors of the cheese production process including the breed of animal that the milk comes from, the size, shape, texture and taste of the cheese and the length of time it is aged for.

As more British people have tried new cheeses during their French holidays, the demand has grown. In the past two years, an average of 115,000 tonnes of French cheese a year has been exported to the UK. Having said this, the best place to really get a taste for the variety of cheeses on offer is in France.

AOC Specialities

If you are joining Carisma for a holiday in France, why not gives some of these AOC specialities a try:

  • Along with Roquefort, Oussau Iraty is the other sheeps milk cheese with AOC accreditation. However, this is where the similarity ends, as unlike the punchy flavour of Roquefort, Oussau Iraty is a mild nutty cheese from the northern Pyrenees.
  • If you enjoy goats cheese, there are three highly recommended options; Chabichou du Poitou, from South West France, Crottin de Chavignol from the Loire Valley and Banon from Provence.
  • Comte is a hard pressed cheese that comes from cows that pasture on the Jura Mountains. This tasty cheese is matured for 12-18 months and is ideal for melting in cooked dishes, as well as eating cold.
  • Munster is a cheese from the Lorraine region of France. It is typically sold either as a ‘normal’ plain variety or with the addition of cumin seeds.
  • Along with Camembert, Normandy is the origin of many of the more pungent cheeses. If you like a strong smelling cheese, you could try Pont l’Eveque which has a mild flavour or Livarot, a really stinky cheese.
  • Finally if you are going for Brie, choose Brie De Meaux from the countryside to the South East of Paris. This variety has been crowned ‘Roi des Fromages’ or ‘King of the (French) Cheeses’.


Any views or opinions expressed in all articles under the title “Carisma News” are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Carisma Holidays Limited

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