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Beaufort

 

Origin:

France - Savoie

Type:

Cows milk, unpasteurised; firm; pressed, cooked curd, natural brushed rind which is inedible.

Fat content:

50%

History:

Beaufort was already known in the time of the Romans and is named after a small rural town in the French Alps. Beaufort cheeses come in three versions, Beaufort, Beaufort d'été (summer Beaufort) and Beaufort d'Alpage (made in the Alps). The latter is made with milk from Tarine (or Tarentaise) cows that live in the mountains and graze exclusively on natural pastures. It is said that tasters can feel the grass and flowers of the mountain when eating a piece of Beaufort!

Characteristics:

Beaufort is a giant cheese. It takes about 500 litres of milk to make a Beaufort of 45 kg.  Beaufort needs to age between 4 to 6 months or even more, in a mountain cellar that maintain a cool temperature throughout the year.  It has a smooth beige rind and interior; firm creamy texture with occasional lenures (horizontal fissures); mild fruity, sweet flavour.  Extraordinary melting capacity, which makes it terrific for fondue.

Related Cheeses

French Comte`, Swiss Gruyere.

Appropriate Wines

All big reds.  This is a classic example of very fine cheese that elevates the rough and simple reds, such as some Cote du Rhone and everyday Bordeaux.  Also goes nicely with Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Chablis and white Burgundy.

Bottom line

Beaufort is a superb mountain cheese.  It is richer and creamier than other mountain cheeses such as Gruyere, Comté or Emmental. Beaufort has a nice scent of milk, butter and honey. The supple paste has flowery and herbs aromas.  It pairs beautifully with Smoked Salmon.