Please The Palate Pick of the Week: French Cheese

Soft, hard, fresh, aged, delicate, stinky….there are so many different kinds of cheeses from France. This week I got to taste a delicious selection of French cheeses at an event hosted by the French Dairy Board called “Fall in Love with Formage” and that is what I did. Hence, French cheeses are the Please The Palate pick of the week!

With more than 1200 different French cheeses, many names which are hard to pronounce,  are accessible, affordable and delicious. The cheeses presented at the event came from the The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills which is one of my favorite stores to go to. Here are a few favorites:

Brie Le Chatelain – A soft, bloomy-rind cow’s milk cheese from the pastures of the Vosges Mountain region of France. This creamy, smooth brie was even better on top of a thick piece of fresh bread and a touch of olive oil on top.

Le Chevrot, Valencay and Brillat-Savarin – Le Chevrot is a goat’s cheese form the Loire Valley. With an edible wrinkly rind, the cheese ages from the outside in, resulting with a  balance of creamy and chalky. Valencay is also a goat cheese from the town of Valencay in central France. It comes in the shape of a pyramid and when it is young, it is creamy and a bit tart. It is a mold-ripened cheese and as it ages becomes more creamy and runny. Brillat-Savarin is a white-crusted cow’s milk triple cream brie. It is heaven to eat this creamy, rich cheese and is perfect for dessert.

Ossau-Iraty – Made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk, Ossau-Iraty is from the French Pyrenees. Aged for a minimum of 90 days, the cheese has a fragrance of hazelnuts and on the palate is sweet, buttery and nutty.

Tomme de Savoie – A family of cheeses from the French Alps, Tomme de Savoie is a mild, semi-firm cheese made from cow’s milk and has nutty, citrusy, earthy flavors.

Cantal – A firm cheese from the Auvergne region in central France, cantal is made from cow’s milk and has a strong earthy nose and is both tangy and buttery on the palate. This is one of the most well-known cheeses in France.

Mimolette and Fromager D’Affinois – Mimolette is an aged, raw cow’s milk cheese from the city of Lille in France. A spherical shape, it is a bright orange color and flavors of bacon, nuts and butterscotch. Perhaps you can liken it to a cheddar cheese. Fromager d’Affinois is a double-cream cow’s milk cheese that is milky and buttery.

There are just so many wonderful cheeses from France that will please any palate. And that is why French cheese is the Please The Palate pick of the week. Bon Appetit!