Savoie is known for its mountains, its large ski areas, its magnificent lakes, but also for its cheeses. Starting with Beaufort, nicknamed the "prince of Gruyères".
Where does Beaufort come from?
Beaufort is a raw cow's milk cheese made in Savoie in the valleys of Beaufortain, Tarentaise, Maurienne and a small part of the Val d'Arly. Since 1968, the king cheese of the high valleys of Savoie has had a protected designation of origin (AOP).
Beaufort is perfect on a cheese platter, accompanied by a glass of white Savoy wine such as Apremont. It is used in many Savoyard recipes such as the Savoyard fondue and the crozet gratin.
What does Beaufort taste like?
Beaufort is a cheese with a distinctive taste, without being very strong. Its melt-in-the-mouth texture and fragrant taste are unmatched by any other cheese lover. Its taste varies according to the season in which the milk is produced and the length of maturation. After six months of maturing, Beaufort acquires a very fruity and fragrant taste. After 18 months, it develops a more pronounced taste, and its paste is sprinkled with "grains of salt".
The two seasons of Beaufort
Summer Beaufort is made during the grazing period from 1 June to 31 October. It has a pale yellow colour and a very fruity taste. The cheese made between November 1st and May 31st is simply called Beaufort PDO. The paste of the winter cheese is lighter. The taste is milder.
Which milk is used for Beaufort?
Beaufort is made with whole raw milk from two hardy breeds of cow: Tarine and Abondance, the two udders of the Beaufort PDO. Very resistant and hardy, these robust dairy cows from the Savoy mountains graze in the high pastures, up to 2,500 m in altitude, near the glaciers. They produce a balanced milk that is particularly rich in proteins.
DID YOU KNOW? It takes 450 litres of milk to produce a 45 kg wheel of Beaufort. A cheese which imposes itself by its size!
ADDRESS BOOK :
- The Beaufortain Dairy Cooperative offers an exhibition on the theme of Beaufort, a film screening of "Au pays du Beaufort", guided tours of maturing cellars and tasting. Address: 234, avenue du Capitaine-Bulle, 73270 Beaufort, tel. 04 79 38 33 62, www.cooperative-de-beaufort.com
- La fromagerie-coopérative de la Vallée des Arves: at the foot of the Aiguilles d'Arves, the cheese factory welcomes nearly 40,000 visitors each year. You can watch Beaufort being made, visit a maturing cellar, and of course buy cheese directly from the cooperative. Address: Belluard, 73530 Saint-Sorlin-d'Arves, tel. 04 79 59 70 16, www.beaufortdesarves.com