Saturday, April 28, 2012

Best Cheese To Eat

While milk might taste the same throughout the world, cheese is the consummate individual. Climate, history, tradition, landscape, the eating habits and the breed of the animal, and the dexterity of the cheesemaker all help ensure that the slice is right, from the lofty French Alps to the flatlands of Holland and the heartshaped island of Tasmania.

Coopérative Laitière de Haut Tarentaise
The Dairy Cooperative of the High Tarentaise has shops in Bourg St-Maurice, Val d’Isère, Les Arcs, La Rosière, and Tignes selling Beaufort cheese, dubbed “the prince of Gruyères.” A hard, cooked cheese, it is pressed into beechwood molds to shape it, then drained, turned, and rubbed with salt daily, and aged for six months.
La Laiterie des Halles
2 place de Genève, Chambéry; www.fromagerdenis-
Denis Provent, who runs La Laiterie des Halles, is a master of Savoie cheeses; his family has been in the fromage business for three generations. His shop in Chambéry brims with Savoie cheeses, including Reblochon Fermier, Abondance, Beaufort, Tome de Bauges (semi-soft cow cheese), Tomette de Brebis de Savoie (sheep cheese), and Tarentais (farmhouse goat cheese). Provent ages many of the cheeses in his own cellars. He has a second cheese “boutique,” Les Délices Savoyardes, on rue de Genève in Aix-les-Bains.
Le Grand-Bornand
Farms in and around this pretty winter-sports village near Annecy welcome visitors during the summer months to see Reblochon Fermier (farmhouse Reblochon) cheese being made, from the milking of the cows to a tasting of the final creamy product. Le Grand-Bornand, with some 55 farms in operation, boasts as many cows (2,000) as people! Le Grand-Bornand Tourist Office organizes tours.


The land of cows, apple trees, and thatched roofs produces one of France’s most famous cheeses – the fruity Camembert – as well as Pont l’Evêque, Livarot, and Brillat-Savarin.
La Foire aux Fromages de Livarot
 A festival featuring all the finest local cheeses is held in Livarot, in the heart of Camembert country, every August. Brave souls can attempt to win the title of fastest Livarot cheese-eater; the current record is 26 oz (750 g) in 1 minute 51 seconds.
La Fromagerie François Olivier 
40 rue de l’Hôpital, Rouen;
Possibly the best cheese shop in France, with a huge choice of French and Normandy cheeses, including exquisite artisan-made Camembert.
La Route du Fromage
A selection of farms in the picturesque Pays d’Auge region – which includes big-cheese villages such as Livarot, Pont l’Evêque, and Camembert – offer tastings as well as cheese for sale. Pick up a map of the touring route at a local tourist office.


This unspoiled region on the eastern edge of France produces tangy, traditionally made Comté, the country’s biggest-selling hard cheese. Other popular local picks for the cheese board include Mont d’Or and Morbier.
Fromagerie Marcel Petite
22 rue Bernard Palissy, Granges Narboz;
Here you can see how impressive 65,000 wheels of Comté look stored in a converted fort, and follow up the adventure with a tasting in these atmospheric surroundings.
La Fromagerie du Mont d’Or
2 rue du Moulin, Métabief; +33 3 81 490 236
A cheese shop specializing in the rich, runny Mont d’Or cheese, a French Christmas favorite that is only available from September to March. Morbier cheese is also offered. The fromagerie uses the milk from 13 regional producers.
Les Routes du Comté
Follow suggested itineraries or tailor your own driving tour along this route, and let local farmers demonstrate the care with which Comté is made and how good it is. Dairyman Jean François Marmier runs a herd of Montbeliarde cows, the ones most closely aligned with Comté, which visitors can help milk or feed for a more hands-on Alpine experience.
Plump with natural beauty – rivers, lakes, mountains – as well as cities brimming with art and history, the kingdom of Lombardy is also rich in formaggio, with big hitters such as Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, and Taleggio.
Formaggi Galli
Piazza Wagner, Milan
Marco Galli’s stand in Milan’s huge Piazza Wagner food market specializes in Lombardy cheeses. Slow Food supporter Galli is known for sourcing exceptional Gorgonzola, some aged to mind-blowing maturity.
La Baita del Formaggio
Via Italia 42, Milan; This traditional cheese shop offers up a host of artisanal Italian cheeses. The Lariano Speziato, a soft cheese from the mountains surrounding Lake Como, is exclusive to the shop.
Rossi y Grassi
Via Ponte Vetero 4, Milan; In the classy Brera district, this top-quality gourmet food shop displays a tempting selection of Italian cheeses, including fruity Grana Padano and soft Taleggio, plus wines from Italy’s greatest producers.
There is another branch close by on Via Solferino.
The Dutch have been making cheese since at least the 4th century, with Gouda and Edam now global favorites. Both towns are within easy striking distance of Amsterdam.
Don’t miss the legendary cheese carriers at the weekly summer markets.
Abraham Kef
Marnixstraat 192, Amsterdam;
A little piece of France in central Amsterdam, this shop specializes in French as well as Dutch cheeses. Their philosophy is that good cheese is inseparable from good wine, and you can enjoy both in the shop’s small dining area.
De Kaaskamer
Runstraat 7, Amsterdam;
In the newly fashionable “Nine Streets” shopping area, this shop, with its floor-to-ceiling selection of cheeses – including organic Dutch offerings – is sure to keep cheese fans both happy and busy.
Kaashuis Tromp
Utrechtsestraat 90, Amsterdam;
Henk van Kol’s “House of Cheese” has expanded into a small universe, with another three branches in Amsterdam and 10 more throughout the Netherlands. The flagship store, noted for its friendly service, is packed with Dutch cheeses of all kinds, including many from small-scale producers, along with 250 foreign cheeses.


With its pristine environment, clean, clear waters, lush green pastures, and fertile soil, Tasmania is home to many boutique dairy farms and artisan cheesemakers turning out creamy brie styles, full-bodied cheddar, and artisanal cow and goat cheeses.
Bruny Island Cheese Company
1807 Main Road, Great Bay, Bruny Island;
On this small island off Tasmania, famed for its fairy penguins and other wildlife, Nick Haddow churns out handmade cow, sheep, and goat cheeses, ranging from “Barney,” a blue cheese, and the mild, Gruyère-like “C2” to specialties such as prosciutto-wrapped and olive oil-marinated cheeses. See and taste the cheeses being made, and don’t miss their home-baked bread and homemade ice cream too.
King Island Diary
Currie, King Island; Situated on another tranquil little island, Australia’s best-known specialty cheese and dairy producer makes a range of creamy bries, pungent blues, and sharp aged cheddars, and has a tasting room in which they can be discovered.
Pyengana Cheese Factory
St. Columba Falls Road, Pyengana; +61 3 6373 6157
Australia’s oldest cheddar is made following a method developed in the local cooperative in the 1890s by cheesemaker Jon Healey’s grandfather.
There are dairy and cheese factory tours by appointment, plus cheese sales in The Factory Shop.

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