French cheeses are prized around the world and with upwards of 300 distinct varieties to choose between most people have a few familiar favourites. However, what can be more challenging is pinpointing where they come from on a map, and when it comes to French cheese, this is all important.
40 Iconic French Cheeses Mapped
Fortunately, the folk at Vinepair have helped us get started with their fun cheese map (below) locating 40 iconic French cheeses around the hexagon. So whether you want to take a strategic cheese tour, and follow your nose starting with a creamy Brie de Meaux in the north navigating your way to a pungent blue Roquefort in the south, or simply impress with your cheese geography, it's time to mark your favourites.
The identity of most French cheeses is inextricably linked to their terroir, or their land of provenance, which gives them their unique organoleptic qualities. In fact, 56 French cheeses are classified Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), meaning that they are regulated under French law to the highest level of protection.
What that means for cheese fans is that they are guaranteed the genuine taste of their favourite fromage, which will have been made to a traditional method in their designated locality. This is where the cheese map comes in....
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