The 10 best French cheeses

 

Alice-Azania Jarvis
Friday 11 November 2011 01:00
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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. Chevrotin

£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.

4. Chaource

£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

£7.59, wholefoodsmarket.com

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

£31.50/kg, harveynichols.com

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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