Gourmet France: Famous Cheeses from the Best French Cheese Regions

Aside from French sweets, Gourmet France is known for its cheeses. So crazy are the French about their cheeses that there are around 400 distinct types of French cheeses grouped into 8 categories. Since it would take forever to go through every single type of cheese, here are the 10 tastiest cheeses from different French cheese regions that every aspiring French cheese connoisseur needs to know.

 

Cheese tasting

Cheese tasting on the Apres Tout barge in Burgundy France

Brie
Considered as one of the best-known cheeses in the world, brie is a type of soft cheese that becomes softer as it ages. Named after the historic region in Northern France where it’s mainly produced, brie has a rich milk and buttery flavor that makes it perfect to eat with bread and paired with either red or white wine.

Camembert
Named after its birthplace in Camembert, Normandy, Camembert is another type of soft creamy cheese that the French absolutely love. Made with raw cow’s milk, Camembert has an earthy flavor that is similar to brie, only a bit stronger.

Reblochon
This creamy cheese is made in the Haute Savoie Alps region and is one of the more popular grand mountain cheeses readily available in markets today. Made from raw cow’s milk, Reblochon has a strong aroma with a nutty aftertaste.

Edel de Cleron
Made in the village of Cleron in the Franche-Comte region, Edel de Cleron is a traditional cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk. This soft cheese, known for its woody aftertaste, is best eaten ripe when it’s runny and gooey on the inside.

Delice
The Delice is a type of cheese that is made in Burgundy. Since cream is added in twice with the milk during the cheese-making process, this cheese is rich and exceptionally creamy that you’ll feel it melting in your mouth.

Morbier
Produced in the Eastern region of France, the Morbier is a type of semi-soft cheese that can be made from either raw or pasteurized cow’s milk. The Morbier has a tangy flavor with a hint of citrus and is also fairly elastic.

Pont-L’Eveque
Known as one of the oldest cheeses from Normandy, the Pont-L’Eveque is the only semi-soft cheese with a cross-hatched pale orange rind. Made from raw cow’s milk, it has a creamy smooth texture and a fairly strong pungent aroma.

Mimolette
Traditionally produced in the city of Lille, the Mimolette is a type of hard cheese with a bright orange color and comes in the shape of a cantaloupe. When properly aged, this cheese has a nutty flavor and makes a great addition to any cheese platter.

Comte
Also known as the Gruyere de Comte, the Comte is a delightful hard French cheese with a smoky yet fruity taste. Made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and produced in Eastern France, this versatile cheese is usually melted to make fondue, eaten as a sandwich, or grated over savory dishes.

Roquefort
Known as one of the most popular blue cheeses around, the Roquefort is made from sheep’s milk in the south of France. Similar to the Bleu d’Auvergne, the Roquefort is a rich, creamy, sharp cheese with a pungent aroma.

Taking a barge cruise through the canals of France will give you a chance to taste many different cheeses. The cheeses will be accompanied by complementary wines of the regions as well as great food. Barge cruises range in price from low $3,000’s to over $7.000 per person for 6 nights. Rate includes the cruise, all meals, most non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and excursions. All barges include bicycles for cycling the towpaths along the canals and exploring the nearby towns and villages. Check out our site to learn about the different barges we offer. For more information contact: jan@europeanbarging.com or 888-869-7907  Barge and River cruise specialist since 1998.

Cruising the Canal du Midi on the 6 Passenger Roi Soleil

Converted to a  hotel barge in 1999, the Roi Solei is a deluxe six passenger barge cruising the Canal du Midi in Southern France.

The Roi Soleil  offers cruises in the Canal du Midi area in France, some of the highlights include: Medieval Carcassonne, a fortified Medieval fortress with a walled city and preserved ramparts, Narbonne (Roman capital), historic Cathar hilltop towns, as well as the experience of cruising on the man made Canal du midi – finished 350 years ago, and featuring 91 working locks.  Cruise through the magnificent vistas vineyards as far as the eye can see to the snow capped Pyrenees.

The Roi Soleil also offers special wine charter themed cruises.  With their contacts the owners can help you find some special vintages, they can offer daily wine tasting or even comparison tasting with other wine regions – at additional cost.

Family cruise charters are another specialty of the Roi Soleil.   Excursions can include cycling (bike and helmet sizes can be arranged in advance for children), horse back riding, 4 wheel riding, hot air balloon swimming at the beach, in the river or on the barge.  Excursions can be arranged for the children at the same time as the adults are out on excursions.

With a large saloon on the upper deck, with a fireplace, bar and elegant dining area, the barge has an open feel with many windows and skylights. The barge has two sundecks with a retractable canopy and a jacuzzi tub at one end.  The cabins can be configured for queen or twin, and ensuite bathroom with large showers, lave stone floors, and heated towel racks.  There is limited Wi-Fi depending on reception.

For excursions there is an air-conditioned eurovan with seating for 8, and there are six Giant Boulder Breeze Hybrid bikes and six helmets.

Continental breakfast includes fresh breads, pastries, cereals, fresh fruits, yogurt, freshly brewed coffee and tea.

  • Atypical lunch might consist of: Smoked duck and granny smith apple salad with fresh raspberry dressing,  braised quail served on creamy porcini mushroom risotto, and lemon soufflé.
  • A typical dinner might consist of: home made foie gras au torchon with pear and date, Charollais beef fillet on braised beetroot and fresh asparagus with chunky basil pesto and plum, apple chutney. Chilled blackberry & vanilla soup with caramel & balsamic ice cream on a chocolate truffle with pistachio spun sugar, followed by coffee, tea or liqueurs with fine chocolates. The galley on the Roi Soleil was specifically designed with an open plan to accommodate passengers who may be interested in participating in our Chef cooking demonstrations to learn new techniques or pick up a few tricks.

Included in the rate is 6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, all meals – from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, all wines with lunch & dinner open bar, daily escorted excursions and use of onboard bicycles.  Check out the Roi Soleil itinerary and our videos on the Roi Soleil barge and the Roi Soleil Dining.

For more information contact us at 888-869-7907   or europeanbarging.com   European River Cruise and Barge specialists since 1998.