Everyone loves the milky rich taste of brie. This soft-ripened French cheese with its velvety white rind can be eaten as is with crackers or a crusty baguette, but it also adds a touch of decadence to savoury dishes. Show off brie’s oozing, melting glory in baked dishes, savoury bread puddings, or simply wrapped in puff pastry and baked till golden.
A cheese that absolutely deserves to be a part of your cheeseboard is Comté. A mainstay in French households, this ivory-coloured hard mountain cheese tastes like brown butter, roasted nuts, fruit and sweet spices. Protected by a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), this cheese can only be produced in certain areas of the Franche-Comté region. Eat it as a snack or swap it for Cheddar in a mac and cheese or fold through creamy scrambled eggs.
While traditional blue cheeses can be crumbly and salty with an overpowering whiff, Saint Agur is a luxurious double-cream cheese that is smooth and tangy. Its high butterfat ratio helps it melt nicely into sauces, but you can also make savoury shortbread biscuits (sablés) or crumble it into a green salad.
Saint-Marcellin is a small and softly crusted cow’s milk cheese from Lyon that comes in its own little terracotta pot. When ripe, if you break through the thin rind with a cracker, outflows this salty, creamy cheese that’s delicious when baked with vegetables such as asparagus or courgette, in winter salads with dried fruits, or as part of a crudité platter.
More cheese spread than actual cheese, Boursin is a herb and spice flavoured French cream cheese with a buttery and slightly crumbly texture. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s delicious spread over crackers, stuffed into pasta shells, or simply spooned into vol-au-vents with sliced mushrooms and baked for a quick canapé for New Year’s Eve.