Where to eat the best cheese in France

photo by manuel/MC

France is known worldwide for its excellent wine and cheese, and there’s something you should know about these two delicacies: they go extremely well together, and they taste best when they’ve been aged for a while. There’s such a huge variety of French cheeses that not even the average Frenchman or Frenchwoman can name all of them in a breath. So unless you hate cheese, these suggestions on where to eat the best cheese in France can open up for you an entire world of flavors and textures that will make you wish you could eat French cheese all day long.

Meaux, Saint-Marne Department

photo by Paul Harrop

The fabulous Brie de Meaux, the king of cheeses, is a soft cheese made of cow’s milk, with a thin, fluffy white crust covering a creamy yellow interior. The cheese has a delicious nutty flavor which is strong but not overpowering. This variety of brie comes from the town of Meaux, a picturesque town which is also known for its lovely festivals and its mustard – but also its beautiful medieval buildings.

Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, Aveyron Department

Roquefort is one of the most famous blue cheeses in the world, and its moist, tangy flavor and white body tinged with greenish-blue veins are instantly recognizable. Only the cheeses aged in the Combalou caves in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, a quaint little town whose life pretty much revolves around the production of this delicious cheese. There’s a visitor center that details the manufacture of roquefort, and where you can taste samples and buy some cheese to bring home.

Lille, Nord Department

Lille is a great tourist destination any way you look at it, but cheese enthusiasts can have a memorable tasting trip to Lille in order to sample the mimolette, a French cheese produced in the region around Lille. Mimolette was made at the special request of Louis XIV, who wanted a cheese similar to Edam. The cheese has a deep orange color, and it tastes similar to Parmesan when young, and hazelnut-like when extra-old (cheese experts prefer it this way).

Thones, Haute-Savoie Department

The small town of Thones has been known for centuries for its production of reblochon, a famous cheese from the Savoie region. Reblochon has a yellow crust covered with a fine white fluff, and creamy flesh that tastes of hazelnuts. Reblochon is one of the key ingredients of the famous tartiflette, a traditional food from Savoie.

Saint Nectaire, Puy-de-Domes Department

The commune of Saint Nectaire is an absolutely fascinating town that should be visited even if you downright hate cheese. Its church is one of the most beautiful examples of Roman architecture in Auvergne, and there are dozens of thermal springs in the region too. In Saint Nectaire, you can eat the best cheese in France. It is called Saint Nectaire, and according to some people, there’s no cheese that’s more delicious: it is soft, silky and elastic, with hints of nuts and mushrooms.

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