The 10 best French cheeses
Alice Jolly is an author, playwrite and teaches creative writing at Oxford University. She is crowd-funding her own memoir of infertility and surrogacy with the publisher Unbound. 50 per cent of the proceeds of the book will be donated to SANDS (The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Foundation).
Friday 11 November 2011
1. Roi de Trefle Camembert
£1.35 (250g pack), aldi.co.uk
An agreeable camembert at an even more agreeable price. This Aldi offering isn't going to win prizes for complexity – but at that price, it's still a win for quality on the cheap.
2. Ossau Iraty
£3.40 per 100g, selfridges.com
Medium-soft and nutty – if you like comté, you'll love ossau iraty. Interestingly, the white, mouldy rind is edible; experts say it only serves to enhance the cheese's flavour.
£3.99 per 100g, monscheese.co.uk
With its hint of sourness, this distinctive unpasturised goat's cheese is a breakfast dish in the Alps, where it's been made since the 17th century.
£2.99 (250g pack), sainsburys.co.uk
We can't recommend chaource enough. Stronger than St Felicien, but with a similarly melting texture and crumbly, semi-firm centre.
5. St Felicien Mons
Soft and oozing, this cheese offers a mellow, buttery flavour. Named after the small Alpine town where it was first produced, this is a cheeseboard classic. Pair with a Rhône valley white or red.
6. Napoleon - Sud Ouest
Named not after the Gallic leader, but after the mountain that faced the farm of its origin. Similar to a Comté, with a distinctive nutty tang that will stand up nicely to a bottle of full-bodied red.
7. Crottin De Chavignol
£3.10 (60g), finecheese.co.uk
A gently nutty goat's cheese that acquires a blue exterior as it ages, crottin de chavignol works alone, but don't let that stop you adding it to a salad for a show-stopping starter.
8. Berthaut Epoisses De Bourgogne
£6.22 (250g pack), waitrose.com
This unpasteurised cows-milk cheese from the Côte-d'Or is pungent but delicious and was reportedly Napoleon's favourite.
9. Brie De Meaux
£25/kg, paxtonand whitfield.co.uk
The king amongst French cheeses (it was crowned "Roi des Fromages", at the Congress of Vienna), the best brie is pungent and runny.
10. Chevre Premier De Moulis
£2.20 per 100g, teddington cheese.co.uk
From the Pyrenees, this unusual hard goat's cheese is gently nutty, with pock-marks in its creamy flesh.
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