There are a number of similarities between wine and cheese, those staples of the French diet. Both go through a fermentation and aging process; both have flavors that vary depending on the soil, sunlight, rainfall and geography of the area in which they are produced. In France, both are given the esteemed certification of AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) to indicate the quality and provenance of their traditional production.
Like wine, the tasting of cheese is something of a science, as different regions produce so many diverse flavors in all shapes, sizes and colors. If you are a cheese connoisseur, you will certainly be able to indulge your passion on any of our hotel barge cruises in France.
Cheeses can be classified in a number of different ways. For example, by the country or region of origin: a hard cheese made in the Alpine climes of Beaufort would be incredibly difficult to make in the flat, western region of Normandy.
Another difference is the method of production: for example, the outside of washed rind cheeses are repeatedly dusted with ‘morge’ – a mixture of brine, whey and old cheese scrapings – to create a colored rind, while the inside of a blue cheese is pricked with needles to grow blue mold.
These varying processes and environments create cheeses that are wildly different in texture, smell and taste, which we invite you to try as part of every meal during your "culinary voyage of discovery".
When you cruise on the Canal du Midi you will be introduced to the distinctive tastes of the region’s cheeses, with Roquefort Papillon, Cathare au Chèvre, and Tomme au Piment d’Espelette on the menu, paired with a local Corbières or Minervois wine.
In the Loire Valley you may be treated to a cheeseboard featuring Crottin de Chavignol, a creamy goats’ cheese that is surprisingly perfect with a dry, white wine from Sancerre. In Burgundy, Epoisses and Aisy Cendré are examples of cheeses served with full-bodied red wines sucha s Meursault or Santenay-les-Beaunes.
Let us open your eyes to a world of delicious, gourmet cheeses on any of our French hotel barge cruises – you won’t be disappointed!
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