French cheeses are the perfect end of a luscious meal. Although they are so many it is hard to make up your mind. Here is a varied and balanced selection to offer your guests a sample of the best.
Where to buy French cheeses
I would definitely recommend buying French Cheese at a specialized fromagery.
Cheese wrapped in plastic at a supermarket is tasteless compared to the fresh ones you buy from the counter.
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.
The shop owner is very knowledgeable and she helps us with the selection: from Chevre to soft, molding, and matured cheese.
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.
Generations of expertise at your service.
Variety of cheeses
To have a nice balanced French cheese plate to serve to your guests, you need to have at least a type of cheese for each category.
The main type of cheese can be divided as follow:
- Soft cow milk cheeses: lait de vache
- Hard/Semihard cow milk cheeses: lait de vache
- Ewe Sheep Milk cheese: lait de Brebis
- Goat cheese: chevre
Soft cow milk cheeses: lait de vache
A creamy cheese made with cow milk, from the Auvergne region.
The cows are fed in rich volcanic pasture land, and their milk is full of flavor.
The flavor can be milder or stronger depending on its time of maturity.
Bleu de Bresse
Also, a cheese made with cow milk 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 cow milk cheeses: lait de vache
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.
Very hard cheese is full of flavor originally from Lille.
Ewe Sheep Milk cheese: lait de Brebis
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.
Goat cheese: chevre
A French cheese platter is not complete without a chevre, you can find different shapes and forms.
Here are some suggestions.
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 to serve with the cheeses
If you are serving the cheeses at the end of the meal, bread is the only other food to serve with the cheese.
Although if you are serving it as a more complete platter, you can add some fruit, nuts, or some other special treats.
Of course, you need to have some rustic French baguette called "tradition", with a crunchy crust and soft inside.
You can also serve some fresh Sweet Corn Bread and Spelt Bread.
A collection of cheese jams
I like to serve with cheese some of my homemade savory jams like onion relish, balsamic fig glaze or red pepper jam.
You can also find on the market specialized collections of honey, jams, and sauces for savory dishes.
Each jam goes well with matured or creamy cheeses.
Cherry tomatoes and tapenade
Also on the table are 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 as 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.
If you are making the French cheese platter, leave your comment below I would like to hear from you. You can find more delicious ideas if you FOLLOW ME on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram or sign up to my newsletter.
📋 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 cherry tomatoes
- 1 bunch radishes
- 1 cup homemade tapenade
- 1 tablespoon Smoked salt
- 1 tablespoon Himalaya salt
- 1 tablespoon Hawaiian salt
- 1 tablespoon Persia salt
- Gourmet Salt From The Dead Sea
- 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