Before tasting the cheeses, we invite you to meet the cheese producers and maturers during a virtual 16-stage tour, dedicated to the tastes of a recognized and reputed region.
Cheese is not just a spontaneous, gourmet snack, it is not just the traditional sweet at the end of our meals, cheese is often associated with French cuisine, recognized as our intangible heritage by UNESCO.
To the east of Paris, Seine-et-Marne does surprisingly well. The nutritious soil of the Ile-de-France region is one of the bastions of dairy production. The department boasts two cheeses with Protected Designation of Origin status: Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun. It also profits from some completely unexpected cheese treasures, such as red Tomme cheese; Camenchèvre - Camembert made with goat's milk; Brie-Yères; Coeur à la crème and Roblochèvre. With your computers, smart phones and tablets, you can follow the journey of the men and women with a thousand and one creamy passions up close.
Made traditionally - hand-ladled into moulds, dry salted by hand and matured in a cellar - Brie de Melun is a soft cheese with a mould rind. To taste, it has a very fruity flavour with a spring
aroma, and its preferred wine is Gaillac (French Controlled Designation of Origin). It was in 1980 that this cheese, made with unpasteurised cow's milk, entered into the family of French
Controlled Designation of Origin cheeses, which went on to become the European Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
Point of reference: If you are looking for a restaurant which has Brie de Melun on its menu, look for this seal of approval which evokes a well-known story.
Brie de Meaux is the designation of origin of a cheese made from unpasteurised milk from the Brie region. It received the French Controlled Designation of Origin in 1980. It is made exclusively with unpasteurised cow's milk, moulded with a "Brie shovel" in cylindrical moulds of 35 to 37 centimetres in diameter. The best time to eat it is during autumn, winter and the beginning of spring. This cheese is nicknamed the "Prince of Cheeses and Premier of Desserts".
Smaller than its fellows, Brie de Nangis is often sweeter and softer to the palate, due to the length of its maturation which can take 4 to 5 weeks. It also gives off a light aroma of woodland undergrowth. Its production stopped during the Second World War before starting up again in the early 1980s.
With its more woody flavours, Brie de Provins is the only Brie to combine the smell of mushrooms with a fruity taste. This is because moulding with the "Brie shovel" aerates the curds. During maturation, the Brie de Provins is turned over by hand every three days.
Brie de Montereau, "Ville-Saint-Jacques" being its real name, tastes somewhere between Brie de Melun and Coulommiers. Moulding is achieved by successively inputting the ladles into the 8- to 10-centimetre high moulds. Matured over the period of a month, it is quite strong.
In the past, excess Brie was preserved at every maturer's to make "Brie noir" which, when eaten with a touch of butter, has an inimitable hazelnut taste and is much less strong than you would think.
Coulommiers has a straw yellow centre and should be consumed when it has a soft middle. It is smaller than Brie de Meaux and is 20 centimetres in diameter and 3 centimetres thick. It weighs around 1 kilogram. Experts know that the milk used for this vintage is considered to be one of the best from the Brie production area. It was traditionally served in the morning, "au mâchon", with Beaujolais or Gamay wine.
Similar to Coulommiers but bigger and thicker, Fougerus is a traditional cheese of the Brie family. Its trademark is the fern (fougères) fronds that partially cover its rind.
Contrary to what its name suggests (goat), Chevru is a cheese made from unpasteurised cow's milk with its origins going back to the early 20th century. This characterful cheese has a farm aroma and a slightly salty flavour.
This fromage frais made with unpasteurised cow's milk is a triple cream, recognisable by the shape of the vine leaf on its label.
Would you like to know more and appreciate the cheeses from the Seine-et-Marne region in another way?
Discover the "Gourmande" playlist on our YouTube channel!
Ten videos invite you to take a look behind the scenes of some cheese factories and more. Find the videos here.