All things cheese in France

Monday, 5 April 2010

Cheese Production Designations

People often ask me what the various classifications of cheese are when looking at cheeses in France. In the case of non-industrial cheeses, what's the difference between an artisanal cheese and a fermier? Or for instance in the case of Comté and other mountain cheeses, coopérative versus fruitière.  Here is a list of the most common distictions:

Fermier  Someone who makes cheese either in a farmhouse, chalet d’alpapge, buron or other mountain hut, using raw milk from animals raised on their farm following traditional methods. 
Artisanal An individual producer using milk from animals raised on their farm or that of bought in the region.
Coopératives or Fruitières A single dairy that makes cheese using milk provided by members of a cooperative.

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