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French cheeses are delicious, but they are so many it is hard to make up your mind when creating a selection for a dinner party.
So food blogger Patty, pattysaveurs.com, and I went to a family-owned cheese shop in Vence AU POIVRE D’ ÂNE to select a variety of cheeses and show you some of our favorites.
Vence is a medieval village that has maintained its authenticity and in the narrow streets of the old center, you can still find locals buying their groceries from the small family-owned shops.
If you want to see the video about Vence, the cheese shop and the bakery, you can find the link below.
The shop was opened 40 years ago, passed down from mother to daughter.
The shop owner is very knowledgeable and she helps us with the selection: from Chevre, to soft, molding and matured cheese.
Lait de vache
Soft French Cheeses made with cow milk
A creamy cheese made with cow milk, from Auvergne region.
The cows are feed in a rich volcanic pasture land, and their milk is full of flavour.
The flavor can be milder or stronger depending on its time of maturity.
Bleu de Bresse
Also, a cheese made with cow milk, it has a similar texture to the brie and has some blue mold in the middle.
Not too salty not too strong
Probably the most famous French cheese. Soft and creamy, it is so different when you buy it fresh from a fromagerie.
I don’t know about you, but I love the crust.
Brie with truffle
It is a Brie cheese with a layer of truffle in the middle.
Highly recommended if you like truffles.
Hard/Semihard French Cheese made with cow milk
My favorite, it is semi-hard cheese.
It has a different level of maturity from 8 to 36 months.
It has a sweet buttery flavor and has a firm and mellow paste.
Tomme de Savoie
Tomme is a cheese made from the milk left from the butter.
It is usually lower in fat compared to other cheese.
There are different variations, de Savoie has a stronger flavor.
Before we go, the lady offered us a piece of Mimolette to try.
A very hard cheese full of flavour originally from Lille.
Lait de Brebis: Ewe Sheep Milk
Roquefort Papillon Noir
Many are familiar with the Roquefort Societe, which is an industrial cheese available in most shops.
Roquefort Papillon Noir, instead, is for the experts and cheese lovers.
It has a creamy texture and powerful taste.
Chevre: Goat cheese
It is a fresh cheese, that is starting to mature, aged only 2 to 3 weeks.
It is dense and creamy, not strong or dry.
Chevrette du Poitou
This is also goat cheese and it is more mature.
You can see that is much more creamy with a stronger taste than the bouyguette.
Chevrette du Poitou
What we served it with
On our cheese platter, you will not find the usual dry fruits and nuts, we decided to select some local unique delicacies.
Of course, we had some rustic French baguette, with a crunchy crust and soft inside.
We also bought some fresh Sweet Corn Bread and Spelt Bread.
A collection of cheese jams from Brezzo:
Brezzo is an Italian brand that specialized in honey, jams, and sauces for savory dishes.
Also on the table some cherry tomatoes and homemade Tapenade, a local traditional olive paste and you can find the recipe here on the blog:
Radishes with Salt
Something I have learned from my son Francesco’s primary school cantine in Saint Paul de Vence.
Contrary to the usual school cantine, the cantine at La fontette had a fantastic healthy French menu.
Francesco told me that he had radishes with salt and all the children loved it.
I have done this ever since, and if you want to make it fancy for a dinner party, you can serve it with 4 different salts like I have done here, and this is my Amazon affiliate link:
And of course a nice bottle of wine.
We opted for Rose but you can ask the shop owner to recommend a good red wine based on the cheeses you buy.
A Wide Selection of French Cheeses
- 1 loaf Sweet Corn Bread
- 1 loaf Spelt Bread
- 3 loaf baguette
Jams for Cheese
- 1 small jar HONEY WITH TRUFFLE
- 1 small jar BILBERRY JAM
- 1 small jar MUSTARD PEPPER
- 1 small jar GREEN TOMATO AND FIGUES JAM
- 1 small jar GRAPES “MOSTARDA”
- 1 small jar TROPEA’S ONION JAM
- 4 grapes Cherries tomatoes
- 1 bunch radishes
- 1 cup homemade tapenade
- 1 tbsp Smoked salt
- 1 tbsp Himalaya salt
- 1 tbsp Hawaiian salt
- 1 tbsp Persia salt
- Arrange all products on the table
- Cheeses on wood boards
- Bread in baskets
- Vegetables on plates
- You can watch the arrangement we made in the video here below