A Primer on French Cheese, Episode 19

Category: French Food & Wine

This episode features our frequent and very popular guest Elyse Rivin. If you enjoy her episodes, please consider supporting her on Patreon.

On today's episode we explore the history and culture of cheese in France. We discuss types of cheese and how they're distributed by region. French people are crazy about cheese and but visitors are often cautious about cheese. What side are you on? Cautious or adventurous?

From Utilitarian Food to Exquisite Creations

Cheese came about as a brilliant way to transform milk so there would be no waste of a precious resource. French people all had a different idea of how to make cheese, but before the days of refrigeration most cheese was dry and had a rind. This was done by necessity.

By now, because we have refrigeration, you can visit any cheese shop in France and you'll find hundreds of types of cheeses that we will group into general families in today's episode.

French Cheese Can Be a Challenge.

As you learn a little more about French cheese by listening to this episode, we hope that you'll feel like trying more types of cheese. You could take a trip through France without ever leaving your dining room, just by trying different regional cheeses.

We understand that not everyone is ready to try unpasteurized cheese. Pregnant women, young children and elderly persons shouldn't eat unpasteurized cheese because even a small amount of listeria could be dangerous to them. These tiny amount that could potentially be in the product are completely safe for people who don't have a compromised immune system.

But because of extra precautions taken when collecting milk for the production of unpasteurized cheese in France, cases of listeria are extremely rare. They are so rare that you're as likely to get sick from eating unpasteurized cheese as you are from pasteurized cheese in France!

Make Cheese Part of Your Trip to France

Let's see if we can convince you to try a few next time you visit France! What do you have to fear? French people are usually skinny, so cheese can't be fattening, right?! <-- Really faulty logic here!


If you love to cook at home (a very French thing to do!) you should really check out this App for meal planning and shopping. I've been using it for a year and I don't know how I managed without it before!

Learn More: French Food & Wine


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Category: French Food & Wine