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Top 10: The Best French Cheeses According To Saschienne

Techno duo offer us a succulent selection of cheeses for foodies only

We asked Saschienne for a fun list, and it turns out they like cheese even more than techno. Though they needed some time to find the words to describe them (they prefer eating them), they finally sent us a list that will get your mouth watering and expand your culinary horizon.

In 2007, Sascha Funke abandoned Berlin for a few months and joined his label mate at BPitch Control, Paul Kalkbrenner, in Aix-en-Provence. Soon after, he met the love of his life, singer Julienne Dessagne. But France had a lot more to offer, and now we know what: the German (and his wife, too) is a sucker for cheese. Yes, you read it right: they're addicted to fermented milk in all of its varieties. Traveling through France (for instance, a few years back they went to the Bourgogne to record their first full-length as Saschienne, “Unknown”), they discovered hundreds of different kinds of cheese, and now they're giving us a selection of their ten favourites, including photos and comments about their origins, stinking levels and other peculiarities. You may not know any of them, but study this list and run to your local French delicatessen store to show off your knowledge.

1. Cantal

Origin: Auvergne, France.

Source of milk: cow.

Stinking level: 3/10.

Cantal belongs to our kitchen like a kick drum belongs to techno. You can either eat it on its own or cut it in pieces and mix it in a salad. A dream.

2. Selles-Sur-Cher

Origin: Department of Cher, France.

Source of milk: goat.

Stinking level: 2/10.

This cheese is made out of row milk. On the outside, its coating is made of charcoal powder but inside it’s actually a white and smooth texture that you’ll find. It’s mild, very tasteful though. We only eat it when we’re France, it’s impossible to find in Berlin.

3. Charolais

Origin: Bourgogne, France.

Source of milk: goat.

Stinking level: 4/10.

It’s a little expensive but it’s worth it. Its rind grows naturally, going from an ivory colour when the cheese is young and gradually becoming blue as the cheese gets older. Hardcore French people always eat it with the rind.

4. Fromage de Chèvre Fermier

Origin: France. You can find it in all regions of France.

Animal: goat.

Stinking level: between 3/10 and 6/10.

There are several levels of maturation for this cheese. The blue one at the top is the oldest team member. The older it gets, the stronger it will be. The taste in your mouth stays for quite a while so our tip is to start with the youngest kid of the family so that the taste of the strongest doesn’t overtake the others.

5. Reblochon

Origin: Haute-Savoie (Alps), France.

Source of milk: cow.

Stinking level: 6/10.

Reblochon is our best friend in Winter. We make the famous “tartiflette” with it: potatoes, bacon, onions, bit of crème fraîche; you put the whole lot in a sandwich between two big pieces of Reblochon. A few minutes in the oven to make it melt. After such a meal you can hardly move… but you definitely feel happy.

6. Bleu D’Auvergne

Origin: Auvergne, France.

Source of milk: cow.

Stinking level: 6/10.

Pure art. Probably the most hardcore looking cheese but a strong symbol of the French pride. The blue moulds are penicillium and appear through a long process of maturation. The taste is quite strong. Weirdly, the French half of our couple (Julienne) hates it and the German half (Sascha) loves it.

7. Fromage de Chèvre Frais

Origin: France. You can find it in all regions of France.

Source of milk: goat.

Stinking level: 1/10.

Fresh goat cheese, perfect to spread on a piece of bread and just let it melt in your mouth. Its taste is very mild; you can use it in pies. A friend for life.

8. St. Nectaire Fermier

Origin: Puy-de-Dôme (Auvergne), France.

Source of milk: cow.

Stinking level: 5/10.

It makes quite a big difference whether the milk is pasteurized or not. The unpasteurized St Nectaire is much more tasteful. It’s not the strongest character amongst cheese but its taste never disappoints us, whatever mood we’re in.

9. Rocamadour

Origin: Quercy (Lot), France.

Source of milk: cow.

Stinking level: 6/10.

Our little friend. We ate a lot of them as we spent some time in this region working on our live act! So small but so tasty. It’s gone in two bites so you’d better buy a few of them if you don’t want to fight with your friends when it comes to sharing. A little creamy heaven.

10. Époisses de Bourgogne

Origin: Côte d’Or (Burgundy), France.

Source of milk: cow.

Stinking level: 10/10.

Our favourite cheese from our favourite region in France. We produced most of our album “Unknown” in Burgundy and had a whole month to try out every cheese from the region. This one is our winner. The smell of it could make you faint but it tastes just AMAZING.

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