Cook, eat, and celebrate cheese day in France

Today, March 27, is national cheese day in France and to celebrate we have gathered a few France-related cheese facts, a simple recipe with comté and cantal and some fun French expressions about cheese.

27 March 2020
By Selma Daddi

Emmental, camembert, mozzarella, coulommiers and raclette are the most popular cheeses in France, although not all of them are French.

Camembert is a soft, creamy cheese, made with cow’s milk in Normandy.

Coulommiers is often compared to brie cheese. It is made with cow’s milk and can be mild as well as stronger depending on how long it is matured for, usually from four to eight weeks.

Mozzarella is an Italian cheese made from Italian buffalo’s milk and emmental is Swiss with a mild taste. It is made from cow’s milk. However emmental is also made in France: in Savoie and in Franche-Comté. It is well-known for its large holes.

Raclette cheese is also originally from Switzerland but different varieties are made in France: in Savoie and Franche-Comté. It is a cheese mostly eaten during winter, with potatoes and cold meats.

The recipe offered by national organisation Les produits laitiers, which groups together milk product producers and companies, is made with cantal, a cow’s milk cheese from the Auvergne.

© A.Roche/A.Bretin/Cniel - Les produits laitiers

 

Scrambled eggs with cantal and green asparagus

Serves: 4 people - Prep Time: 20 Minutes - Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

6 eggs

30g of butter

20g of grated comté

60cl of milk

A bunch of asparagus

One tablespoon of fresh cream

A pinch of Espelette pepper (piment d’Espelette)

20g of grated cantal

Salt, pepper

A few tarragon leaves (feuilles d’estragon)

Instructions:

Peel the asparagus, cut off the stalks.

Plunge the asparagus into a saucepan of boiling water for seven to nine minutes. The asparagus should remain tender. Run the asparagus under cold water. Drain it on absorbent paper, taking care not to break the tips.

Break the eggs to make an omelette. Pour the beaten eggs into a saucepan and heat while stirring constantly. Add the milk, butter, and grated cantal. Add salt and pepper.

Allow to cook over low heat, stirring regularly until the eggs have a creamy consistency. Add the fresh cream and the finely chopped tarragon. Mix well.

Gently separate and add the asparagus on top. Sprinkle with Espelette pepper and enjoy.

To continue to celebrate cheese, we picked a few French expressions about fromage you may like to know.

  • En faire tout un fromage (literally to make a whole cheese out of it)

This is an expression from the 20th century, meaning that you are making a big deal of something which is not that important. It originates from the fact that cheese is made from milk. Thus from a simple thing, milk, we create something more complex.

  • Entre la poire et le fromage (between the pear and the cheese)

This means in between two events, when you have some free time. In the 17th century, cheese was eaten at the end of the meal, after fruit, usually pears or apples, and this was considered a good time for discussion. The expression then evolved from meaning at the end of the meal to a moment when you are free.

  • Laisser aller le chat au fromage (to let the cat go to the cheese)

This old-fashioned expression dates from the 16th century and means a young woman has given in to advances from a man, to have sex before they are married.

  • Camembert (camembert)

As previously explained in this article, this expression is used by children to tell someone to shut up. 

Plus: Learn about French cheeses and buy our French cheese tea-towel

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