The Four Norman Cheeses

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Countries, France | 6 comments

Summary: Here are four famous Norman cheeses that we recommend you taste if you’re in France. So if you’re a cheese lover, this post is for you.

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The four Norman cheeses

This almost sounds like a book title! Well, with more than four hundred kinds of cheese in France we could write a book about French cheeses, couldn’t we? But we’ll just introduce you to four kinds of Norman cheese here, as we spent most of our time in France in Normandy.

Daniel's French Cheeses - Classics & Cheese 2012 - 02

French cheeses by rally pix on Flickr

If you’re not French, you might need some time to appreciate our cheeses. It took Bassel four trips to France to take the first step and taste a “real” French cheese! Here are tips to not screw up your French cheese experience:

  • First point

    You have to get over the smell and the look of the cheese.

  • Second point

    Cheese goes with bread, so you need some good French bread (don’t try to prepare a “French cheeseburger,” for example).

  • Third point

    Though we don’t promote alcoholic drinks, you should avoid drinking sodas with French cheeses, since they go much better with wine.

  • Fourth point

    If you like it, be careful not to have it in large quantities (just like drugs). This is because it is quite fatty, and might have the opposite of the desired effect and disgust you in the end.

French cheese.

French cheeses by elsa 11 on Flickr

So here we go…

stinky cheese

Camembert by cudmore on Flickr

    • The Pont L’Evêque

      Stronger than the Camembert. Very popular in Normandy.

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The Pont L’Evêque

    • The Livarot

      The strongest of these four cheeses, so if you taste several cheeses, this one should be the last one, as we always eat cheeses in order from softest to strongest.

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The Livarot

    • The Neufchatel

      The oldest of the four, this cheese was created in the 6th century. It is the softest, so you should start with it.

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the Neuf Chatel

All four of these cheeses are made with cows’ milk.
Cheeses in France may seem expensive (from €2 to €3.50), but a portion per person shouldn’t be more than 1/8 of the whole cheese. In France we eat cheese at luch or dinner, at the end of the meal.

There are of course many other kinds of cheese in France, as each region produces its own specific cheeses, and they are all very tasty. So if you’re staying in some place other than Normandy, you can ask people about the local cheeses there.

Le Fromage

French cheeses by zjuul.net on Flickr

Note that anywhere you go in France you will find the top 10 cheeses: Camembert, Chèvre, Brebis Basque, Comté, Brie, Emmental, Saint-Nectaire, Cantal, Reblochon, Roquefort.

That’s all, so “Bon appétit”! And remember that going to France without eating bread and cheese is like going to Mexico without eating tacos!

6 Comments

  1. Wow, lovely collection of Norman cheeses! The only one cheese I love is cottage cheese which I eat a lot when I visit my hometown every year. For some reason, the rest is just tasteless to me and I don’t like their texture, but I would have a few pieces when visiting France.
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    • Thanks Agness for your comment, I hope you will like the french cheeses!

  2. We visited Normandy in 2015 and had wonderful cheese at Ferme de la Ranconnierre restuarant on a tour. They mentioned it as a cheese made by the Disney family, but didn’t give us the name (or we missed hearing it). It was served at the beginning of the meal. Do you know what type of cheese it may have been?

  3. Please help me find the wonderful cheese we were served at Ferme de la Ranconniere in Normandy on a tour. It was creamy and they mentioned the Disney family, perhaps Camembert?

    • Nothing like a good cheese and Normandy’s is one of our favorites! We will try to call them and check what type of cheese it was and let you know.

    • We phoned them and they said it was the Pavé d’Isigny cheese and camembert ice-cream and it’s made in-house.

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