Cheese is a really important part of the Franche-Comté food and gastronomy. We quote here the Morbier and Mont d'Or cheeses as well as the Cancoillotte, Bleu du haut-Jura and Emmental cheeses, but there are many other cheeses to be discovered next time you visit this gorgeous French region.
Morbier is a cheese created in 1875 in the eponymous village in the Jura area of Franche-Comté. This traditional French cheese is produced from cows’ raw milk and its appearance is particular: it always has an horizontal black-coloured layer in its inside (see image below). It is a thin vegetal layer absolutely natural. Since 2001, the quality and authenticity of the Morbier cheese have been acknowledged through an AOC label.
Mont d’Or Cheese
The Mont d’Or cheese is a very ancient part of the Franche-Comté food and gastronomy tradition. This cheese was already eaten by Louis XV. Created by farmers from the French region, it is made using only Montbéliarde cows’ milk. Produced in wooden moulds, the cheese is then aged in cellars for 3 weeks. Wood and cheese flavours melt to create an outstanding cheese that can be produced only from 15 August to 31 March due to local rules.
Bleu du Haut-Jura Cheese
Bleu du Haut Jura is a ‘blue’ French cheese boasting an AOC quality label too and produced only in an artisanal way. Produced in wooden moulds and regularly salted, the Bleu du Haut Jura is milder than most other Franche-Comté cheeses and develops a stronger flavour, even being a bit sour.
Emmental is a very subtle Franche-Comté product. Since the 12th century it has been produced with cow's milk, but exclusively from cows eating only 100% natural grass without any chemicals added.
Cancoillotte is not only part of the Franche-Comté wide food family but also accounts for the local traditional culture. Cancoillotte is a semi-liquid cheese made from raw milk, that can be appreciated either hot or cold (even tastier when complemented with some white wine).
Every honourable Franche-Comté restaurant must offer Cancoillotte to obtain its letters of nobility. However, it was once considered to be the cheese of poor people living in the plains at the feet of the Jura mountains. Eaten cold, this cheese has a salty, almost acid taste recalling that of butter.
When eaten warm the taste of Cancoillotte is fruitier but ingredients which accompany it may have a strong influence on its taste (often wine or garlic). This Franche-Comté typical cheese only contains 2 to 8% of fat.