French Cheese for Bastille Day
France has a long history and culture of cheese making and consumption. The dairy tradition in France dates back to when animals were first domesticated thousands of years ago. This long and proud history has resulted in cheese today of the highest quality, variety and taste.
From the humid and green pastures of Normandy, to the dry and arid plains in the South of France, each region can claim its own special dairy traditions and wonderful cheeses. Because of the distinct differences in the regions in France, many of the nation’s cheeses are territorial.
The French word ”terroir” refers to the expression of soil, topography and climate in a wine. Although this is an expression unique to wine, it does also reflect the principal of a territorial cheese in that a cheese can taste, look and smell the way it does due to the unique conditions in the area where it was made. For this reason, many French cheeses have their area of origin in their name.
At Paxton & Whitfield, our buying team work closely with the French cheesemakers to source the best examples of each cheese. Our customers receive the French cheeses they know and expect - and of a quality that is not widely available.
Here are two of our favourite crowd-pleasing soft, French cheeses for the perfect oozy Bastille Day cheese feast:
Brie de Meaux
Brie de Meaux has been well-known since the Middle Ages and has a very distinguished past in which it has been appreciated by writers and royalty alike. Over the centuries, the cheese has been widely imitated by both farmers in neighbouring regions and factories – neither of which lived up to the standards of the original. For this reason, in 1980, Brie de Meaux was given a status of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) to preserve the original region and traditional methods of production.
The texture should be even and lightly creamy, supple and smooth without being runny. It should have a pronounced and appealing fruity flavour with a suggestion of nuts and an earthy perfume.
Triple cream cheeses muct have a fat content of at least 75%, with Brillat Savarin this is achieved by adding rich, luscious cream to whole milk before the cheesemaking process starts. It ripens very quickly and therefore has an affinage of between only 1 and 2 weeks, which takes place in a dry cellar.
Popular this month is our Brillat Savarin Affine Aux Truffe - A special version of a well-known French triple cream cow’s milk cheese, which is filled with summer truffle.
We've put together a Bastille Day themed seasonal treats selection for July, including three French cheese classics perfect for a Bastille Day celebration.