Great classics of the French cheeseboard and the most ordered for export, they are usually soft and creamy, white to ivory in colour. The rind of soft cheeses is interestingly varied; it can be bloomy when covered with a fine down that develops 2 to 4 weeks after seeding. It is called washed when it has been washed or brushed, which encourages fermentation and specific aromas.
Saint-Félicien is a soft cheese with a bloomy rind. This cheese is very similar to Saint-Marcellin but is larger and creamier. Its wrinkled rind is white and ivory and the cheese itself is white. Soumaintrain is creamy, salty and has a subtle hazelnut flavour, depending on how mature it is.
Saint-Marcellin is a soft cheese with a bloomy rind. A very fine white down envelops a cream-coloured cheese. Saint-Marcellin is creamy and salty with a milk and hazelnut flavour. If the Saint-Marcellin is runny, it is presented in a glass dish.
Epoisses is a soft cheese with a washed rind. This cheese generally comes in a wooden box. Its rind is smooth, shiny and ivory whilst the cheese itself is beige and white. Epoisses is creamy, with flavours of undergrowth and a pronounced taste.
Mont d’Or is a soft cheese with a washed rind. Its rind is moist and pink with wrinkles. The cheese itself is white and runny. Mont d’Or is served hot or cold. With its strong smell, it is similar to Maroilles being more delicate on the palate with a creamy taste and woody aromas.
Soumaintrain is a soft cheese with a washed rind. This cheese comes in a wooden box. It is very runny and its brown rind is soft and moist. The flavour of Soumaintrain intensifies with age and is creamy when the cheese is young.
Chaource is a soft cheese with a washed rind. Its even, white rind has a slight down whilst the cheese itself is white and crumbly. Chaource melts in the mouth with flavours of cream and mushrooms.
Langres is a soft cheese with a washed rind. Its rind is orange with a little dip on the top. The cheese itself is creamy with a firm, white centre. Langres has a strong smell and a slightly tangy flavour. This is softened by its creamy texture.
Munster is a soft cheese with a washed rind. Its moist, orange rind hides a cream-coloured cheese that is soft or creamy depending on the ripeness. The smell and flavour of Munster are quite pronounced and it has a slightly salty taste.
Maroilles is a soft cow’s milk cheese with a washed rind. Its orange rind has lines in it and it is a soft cheese. Maroilles has a strong smell but its taste is less pronounced than its smell – it is quite salty.
Brie de Meaux is a soft cheese with a bloomy rind. The rind is covered by a white down and the cheese itself is ivory with holes in it. Brie de Meaux is creamy and soft and can be runny when ripe. It has aromas of undergrowth and maple and a flavour of mushrooms, hazelnut and milk.
Camembert is one of the most famous cheeses on the international market. It is a soft cheese with a washed rind. Its downy rind is white and ivory and the cheese itself is crumbly and yellow in colour. Camembert has a slightly salty flavour and has great character when ripened over time.
Livarot is a soft cheese with a washed rind. It is made from cow’s milk. This cheese is encircled with reed strips. The surface is orange and moist and the cheese itself is smooth. Livarot has a specific flavour that becomes stronger as it matures.
Neufchâtel is a soft cheese with a washed rind. Its rind is white and the cheese is creamy under the rind and firm in the centre. Neufchâtel is known for its salty flavour and aromas that become stronger as the cheese ripens.
Pont-l’Évêque is a soft cheese with a washed rind. Its fine, pink rind is marked with a grid and the cheese itself is smooth with a few holes. The smell of Pont-l’Évêque is quite strong and the taste is less pronounced than the smell.