Cheeses in season
In winter, from January to March
This is the time to savour the cheeses that benefit from ageing, which are now ten to eighteen months old, and the Vacherins produced after the first cold snap. You can also offer on your cheeseboard Époisses, Maroilles, Muenster, Comté, Livarot, Roquefort, Brie de Melun, Camembert, Pont-l'Évêque, and the blue varieties.
In spring, from April to June
Goats and cows begin to graze on the first grass in the pastures, so their milk is fragrant and flowery. Bries, Coulommiers, the entire goat-cheese family and fresh cheeses are at their very best.
In summer, from July to September
The first ripened cheeses, such as soft, washed rinds and bloomy rinds, are reaching maturity. This is the season of Langres, Pont-l'Évêque, Maroilles, Camembert, Saint-Nectaire...And don't forget fresh cheeses, Brousses, or goat cheeses.
In autumn, from October to December
The regrowth of the second mowing of grass imparts big flavours to cheeses. The variety is tempting, since Époisses, Muenster, Cantal, Roquefort, Brie, and Camembert are perfect just now. In the heart of winter, Vacherin is at its best.
The seasons of milk?
Most cheeses are better at certain times of the year. The notion of a cheese season, however, hides a small inaccuracy. Actually, it's less the time of consumption of a cheese that counts than its time of production.
For example, spring and autumn milk is richer because the cows, goats and sheep graze on grass enriched with wildflowers during these two seasons. The best cheeses, therefore, are those that are made from this milk. After that, however, it's all a question of ripening. A cheese that needs to remain in the hâloir (drying room) for six months will be delicious in the middle of winter.