The Prominent Cheese Regions of France
Milk and Cheese are produced in every region of France and have been since time immemorial. While each region has something unique to offer, there are certain regions that are more prominent than others.
We’ll shine some light on the 13 main regions of France and what each region specialises in.
The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region is home to some of the most famous cheeses in the world. Located in the centre of France, it is mostly a rural mountainous region with vast forests and dormant volcanoes. The volcanic soil is responsible for this region’s superb fertility. The area boasts five types of cheese that have been given the coveted AOC label: Blue D’auvergne, Saint Nectaire, Cantal, Fourme d’Ambert and Salers.
The Île-de-France is the home of the capitol, Paris, as a cultural and culinary hotspot. Outside of the city are forests, grand châteaux and farms. In this region there are two cheeses with the AOC status, they are some of the most famous in the world: The Brie de Meaux & the Brie de Melun.
The Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of Eastern France is dominated by the Jura Mountains and much of the area is surrounded by forests, otherwise it holds a strong rural character with heavy focus on animal husbandry and agriculture. There are 11 Cheeses with AOC status in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. To name a few famous Cheeses from this region: Morbier, Comté and Crottin de Chavignol.
A region to the north of France, Normandy is famous for many reasons, for its rolling green landscapes, white chalk cliffs and picturesque coastlines, but also for its mediaeval and artistic history and of course its quality selection of cheese. There are four Cheeses with AOC status: Camembert, Livarot, Pont-l'Evêque and Neufchâtel.
One of the largest regions in France, Nouvelle-Aquitaine is in the southwest of France and is known for its goat-farming and large open coastlines. There are three Cheeses with AOC status in Nouvelle-Aquitaine: Ossau-Iraty, Chabichou du Poitou and Rocamadour.
Hauts-de-France is the most northern region of France. Bordering Belgium, this region preserves historical gothic architecture from the 13th century. There is one Cheese with AOC status in Hauts-de-France: Maroilles.
Corsica is a mountainous mediterranean island that is brimming with a variety of natural sights. It’s been a part of France since 1768 but retains a strong Italian cultural presence. Corsica has one Cheese of AOC status: Brocciu.
Région Grand Est
Grand Est (Also known as “Grand East”) is the northeastern-most point of France, famous for champagne and vineyards. Grand Est is the new formation of 3 previous regions, Alsace, Champagne and Lorraine. There are four Cheeses with AOC status in Grand Est: Chaource, Epoisses, Langres, Munster.
In the centre of Northern France, Centre-Val-de-Loire was the starting point for the French renaissance. Home to majestic chateaus and cycling hotspots. There are five Cheeses with AOC status: Sainte-Maure de Touraine, Pouligny Saint-Pierre, Chavignol, Valençay and Selles-sur-Cher.
Région Pays de la Loire
Pays de la Loire in the West of France is famous for its vineyards and saltwater marshes. This region holds a strong oceanic presence with long beaches and dunes. There are no cheeses that hold AOC status in Pays de la Loire.
Brittany, in the northwest of France, holds a deep traditional history by the sea. Known for its ancient historic sights and seafood.
Brittany does not hold any AOC Cheese, but it does have a strong history of cheese production in monasteries.
Occitane is in the southernmost part of France, renowned throughout the country for its wine production with vineyards that cover the entire region and every palette. There are three Cheeses with AOC status in Occitane: Roquefort, Bleu des Causses and Pélardon.
Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
In the southeast of France, the southern part of the Alps mountains covers most of the region. Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur plays a big role in the production of fruits, vegetables and flower crops and is known for its fields of lavender. There is only one Cheese with AOC status: Brousse du Rove.
Which region produces your favourite cheese? We at Gourmet de Paris share France’s passion for cheese, our esteemed catalogue offers a collection of cheeses that will delight. Order today and experience the historic and gastronomic flavours of French cheese!