Beaufort cheese I would say is one of the finest cheeses in France. The origins of this versatile, firm and flavourful cheese can be traced back as far as Roman Times! And this year is the 50th Anniversary of Beaufort Cheese receiving the AOP* accolade (Appellation d’Origine Protégée)
Brillât Savarin, the 18th-Century French gastronome called
Beaufort the prince of cheeses
There are three varieties of Beaufort Cheese:
Beaufort d’été (or summer Beaufort) is made when the cows are grazing on the alpine pasture from June 1st to October 31st. 53,430 Summer Beaufort wheels were manufactured in 2017. You can taste the herbs,
The Beaufort Chalet d’alpage this is the rarest Beaufort Cheese and forms just a small part of the summer production (less than 10,000 wheels). It is made using traditional methods and only in alpine chalets above 1,500 meters above sea level and with the milk from a single herd of cows.
Beaufort d’hiver (winter Beaufort) is made from November to May, when the cows are in the valley, including the cowshed. The curd is clear because the cows are mainly fed on hay (harvested during the summer). 66,430 Winter Beaufort wheels were manufactured in 2017.
It takes around 500 litres of milk from the Tarentaise cows to make a 40- 45kg Beaufort. Beaufort cheese is 48% fat. Beaufort is made by heating the
It is the combination of 3 characteristics that give Beaufort Cheese its unique flavour: The region of France, the dairy cows with mountain qualities and the ancient and traditional knowledge of the
Beaufort is popular as part of the mixture in a Savoyard fondue and regularly seen on cheese boards in the region. It is a great cheese for melting on a Croque Monsieur and often found cubed in Alpage salads. It is the cheese of choice in many recipes where melted cheese is used.
*AOP is the French certification granted to some French geographical indications for wines, cheese, butter and various other agricultural products. When a product carries the AOP title it is subject to a rigorous set of clearly defined standards that the product will be produced in a consistent and traditional manner using ingredients from specifically classified producers in designated geographical areas. Around 40 cheeses including Reblochon have been awarded an AOP label.
all photos are copyright ©Caro Blackwell