What is your favorite French CHEESE ?

Mar 13th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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missD - I am adding epoisses, cabecou, and reblochon to the list

ira - and I've wasted my life to now not trying to answer those questions. I promise to devote myself more diligently.

nuke - that first site is great. Thanks for that.

sheila and go - I will try the comte and chevre again.

logos - I'll look for the Neufchatel
robjame is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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>I'll look for the Neufchatel
It's not great, it's o.k. As I said, I can't recommend one specific cheese. It changes every week.
logos999 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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I like reblochon and St. Nectaire very much. Reblochon is getting harder to find here in US; cheese man at Whole Foods last week told me that "they"'re enforcing rules about importing unpasteurized cheese, especially if it hasn't been aged very long. He sold me a "substitute", which isn't quite the same.
grandmere is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 03:21 PM
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Stinky Brie!!! I don't know the name but when we were in Paris last summer we bought brie cheese thinking it would be like American brie which is bland. But No!! It was wonderful - smelled like the feet of an angel (to quote someone). Stunk up the whole room with a wonderful earthy smell. I went to Whole Foods and asked if they had any aromatic French Brie. The Cheeseman sold me one that he said all the French buy when they come in. It was wonderful but not quite as stinkie. I also love a goat cheese - bucheron or bucherondin. Also got it at Whole Foods.
Ronda is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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When in Paris last May we put some Roquefort that we had left over from our picnic in the small bar fridge in our hotel room. We thought it was well-wrapped but when we returned some hours later from our sightseeing... WOW. We actually could smell it in the hall outside our room. We bought a candle (E30 from a boutique down the street), sprayed Sandra's perfume (Guerlain) on and in the bar fridge, opened the balcony doors. Nothing worked.
We glanced at each other sheepishly whenever we got within odor range of our room. I placated Sandra with the assurance that the French were used to that smell and wouldn't find it at all offensive. We have promised each other that this year we will finish promptly any cheese we buy.
robjame is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 03:45 PM
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Ditto on the Ste. Nectaire, but it is tasteless here in the U.S. In France, though, it is the perfect combination of smelly and subtle.

Strangest cheese? I had selected 3 cheeses at the cheese course at a little family style restaurant in the main square in Gordes. Madame had suggested a particular chevre, which I of course took her up on. It seemed to have a hard dark crust, but not wanting to seem impolite, I tried to slice off a piece, and was having no luck, but was getting lots of giggles from the family next to us, who finally showed me that I needed to remove the parchment it was wrapped in.

laughingd2 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 03:58 PM
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Strangest - Morbier - made from the left over whey of comte It has a layer of (edible) ash through the middle. The story is that the morning milk is laid down, covered with ash and the evening milk forms the second layer. Nutty and delicious.
robjame is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 05:24 PM
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I believe that morbier is from the Jura and comte from the Alps. If so, one would not be made from the left-over whey of the other.
Michael is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 05:33 PM
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Hmmm- Love them all, but I am particular to the goat cheeses.

I am lucky to be able to purchase Petit Billy here in the states (a young goat cheese) and have tasted a wonderful cheese called Delice de Borgougne.

As for the blue cheeses, count me in for the forme d'ambert!
lp_nyc is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 05:33 PM
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cour de berry
an artisnal cheese in the same family as selles-sur-cher except this one is heart shaped.
coccinelle is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 05:44 PM
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so DeGaulle said "How can I govern a country with 245 cheeses...eh?

You may recall that Israels Golda Meier said:
"How can we make military policy in a country with 5 million generals".

As for the wide variety of cheeses...
a creamy brie over crusty bread in the morning...heaven comes to France!
Stu T.
tower is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 11:32 PM
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>I believe that morbier is from the Jura and comte from the Alps.< Actually they are both from Franche Comté and especially Jura (and Doubs)


and nukesafe, next time you go to Dijon I'll take you there :
cocofromdijon is online now  
Mar 13th, 2006, 11:50 PM
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Another goat cheese fan. Particularly St. Maure, Selles sur Cher and chevre camembert (logos, have you tried chevre camembert?), which is much harder to find than regular camembert. When the cheese cart comes around at better French and Austrian restaurants, I always ask for goat cheese only. Interesting note that the French goat cheese exported to the U.S. is different from the goat cheese they sell back in France.
BTilke is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 12:00 AM
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"Yes fresh Camembert - when buying in supermarket watch the French finickingly poking the wrapping searching for fresh, not hardened Camembert!"

Have to admit that I do this too - caught the habit from years of living in France.
Although what French people are usually looking for is nice, ripe Camembert. If you buy it too "fresh", it is usually hard in the middle and much milder tasting (sometimes rather acidic). The French tend to like their Camembert nice and oozy (as do I), so they open up the boxes to give the middle of the cheese a good squeeze to check how ripe it is.

One of my absolute favourite cheeses is Beaufort, a lovely rich, sweet flavoured hard cheese from the Alps. Also, the lovely ripe St Marcellin cheeses that you get everywhere in Lyon. And Fourme d'Ambert, which is absolutely delicious served melted with cooked, buttery leeks.
hanl is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 03:17 AM
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Michael - Check out this site.
They say that Morbier and Comte are in fact from the same areas of France and that Morbier is made from the left-over whey of Comte.
robjame is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 03:47 AM
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Funny thread. Of course, Ira is absolutely right, it's impossible to determine even a personal favourite among this incredible variety.
Nevertheless, it's quite fun to think about it and to add some more wonderful cheeses to the list: e.g. I'd vote for Cantal, Brillat Savarin (impossible to find in really good quality outside France - but try the one they sell in that wonderful and easy-to-find cheese shop right in the tiny center of Tournus), Maxi Gaperon, Vacherin-Mont d'Or, St. Félicien or even a good fresh (yes, THIS one really must be fresh) Explorateur.
And no, sheila, Brie de Meaux is not the one and only - the three others are Brie de Melun, Brie de Nangis and - maybe the best of the four, and certainly another of my favourites - Brie de Coulommiers.
franco is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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So many cheeses - so little time.
As soon as I'm settled, my feller is building me a cheese "celler" so I can learn to make some cheeses. I want to make my own goat and sheep brie and camembert - and tackle a good old fashioned cheddar (I hope I live long enough to taste it ripened!)

Tournus? Little town on the Soane?
One of the questions once posed was what city in France would you live ...
I couldn't answer because I couldn't remember its name... Barge tripping - tied up to the quay...found a great little restaurant... beautiful village in Burgundy.
SuzieC is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 07:33 AM
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Michael and hanl - went to Whole Foods and bought some fourme d'Ambert on your recommendation. You are absolutely right. It was amazing. Thank you. I also tried fromage d'Affinois which I think I prefer to Brie.
SuzieC - There are many, many thing I prefer in the States however, three things I miss from Canada are Tim Horton's coffee, peameal bacon and Canadian cheddar. Unfortunately, I have not tasted any American cheese that compares to Balderson extra old. Good luck on your quest.
robjame is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 07:38 AM
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For American cheddar, nothing beats the Grafton 5 year old. It's not easy to find outside Vermont, but I did find some 4 year old Grafton is SF last week.
Michael is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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Cantal and Pierre Robert. I like Brie in the US, but after 2 bries in Paris that were sooooo stinky (and tasted as they smelled), we gave up.
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