Produced since Roman times in the Tarentaise, Maurienne and Beaufortain valleys of Savoy, Beaufort AOP, is a firm full-cream cheese. It’s a cousin of Comté and Gruyère, made from the milk of hardy Traine and Abondance cows.
After the milk is cooked, Beaufort is first wrapped in linen, then pressed into beechwood circles, giving the cheese its distintive concave shape. It’s aged between five and 12 months in mountain cellars, and has a fat content of at least 45%. Today 80% is made in seven cooperatives.
Beaufort is a delicate nutty cheese, popular on cheese boards and a favourite in savoyard fondues; it’s also famously good with white wines.
There are three distinct kinds of Beaufort:
Beaufort d'été: A dairy produced cheese made between June and October, when the cows are out to pasture.
Beaufort d'alpage: Made in chalets in the Alps on high pastures (1,500 metres above sea level) with milk from a single herd and using traditional techniques.
Beaufort d'hiver: Winter Beaufort is made when the cows are indoors, dining on wheat rather than grass.
AOP since 1986.
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