Practicing Creativity

Happy Cheese Day! Cheese in France

One of our favorite cheese shops – Fromagerie Bouchet, Saint-Genis.

Happy Cheese Day! Today, June 4th, is National Cheese Day in the USA. Our  Journée Nationale du Fromage French equivalent was March 27, alas the pandemic put a damper on that. Since you can't get a country more synonymous with cheese than France and I am French, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share with you  some French cheese info and photos.

Market cheeses in Annecy, France.

Cheese is very important here and not just because it tastes good and we like to eat it. Of course, that's the number one reason, but economically speaking cheese is BIG business in France. France is Europe's second largest milk producer after Germany and France's dairy production is one of our biggest agri-food industries. Where does all that milk go? The majority of it, about 75%, is used to produce dairy products like milk, butter, cream, yogurt, and yes, you guessed it...cheese! About 37%  of French milk ends up as tasty, pungent, gloriously odoriferous cheese. Considering there are around 1600 different types of French cheese, I'm surprised the figure's not higher. Keep in mind cheese isn't just from cow's milk, we have chevre (goat) and brebis (sheep) cheeses, too. I even had a delicious Olea & Noix vegan cahew cheese recently, that unless I'd known it was vegan, I'd never have guessed.

The cheese cart at La Table d'Emilie, Marseillan, France.

Oh, yes, we do like our cheese here. The average French person eats around 25 kg of it a year (about 55 pounds), to the average American's 16 kg (35 pounds). I think it's safe to say both countries eat a lot of cheese, but the difference is in how it's eaten. In the US cheese is used in cooking, sprinkled onto foods or added to recipes, rarely do you eat just the cheese. Whereas in France, the most popular way to eat cheese is exactly that – savoring it straight up, on its own. In a nice restaurant, the cheese cart makes its appearance right before dessert, or in place of dessert if you're so inclined (you can see another cheese cart in this fine French dining post).

Picodon (goat's milk) cheese with fresh figs – sublime.

My favorite cheeses are made from goat's milk, like this Picodon above. I like to eat them with a little fruit, walnuts or a thick confiture (fruit jam). 

Whatever kind of cheese you like, treat yourself to some today and enjoy National Cheese Day!

2 comments

  1. I do love cheese! Langres and Roblechon are my favorites. Thank you for the mouth-watering photos. Wolfgang enjoyed goat cheese too, but I never acquired a taste for it.

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  2. CHEESE! Look at all that cheese!! I'm afraid us Canadians are very much like Americans with respect to cheese....we don't tend to eat it on its own. *clicking over to the other post** WTF?!?! Omg, you get first food, second food, main food, cheese, dessert and then second dessert?!?!?! I am moving to France!

    ReplyDelete

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