A fruity flavour, hazelnut aroma and a hard, smooth texture.
Beaufort is produced in the Savoie region
on the massif Beaufortin, the Tarentaise and the Maurienne. Cows are grazed
during the summer months at high altitude in areas free from pollution
and fertilizers. Some of the mountains reach 3000m with deep valleys in
between. Beaufort originally took its name from the little market town
Beaufort is made from the milk of the Tarines
cow, a strong and hardy animal. This breed of cow originally came from
the Indo-Asian continent and crossed central Europe before reaching France.
During the winter months the cows are kept in sheds to protect them from
the heavy winter snow and, in accordance with A.O.C. regulations, they
are not fed any silage or other fermented fodder. In spring they are taken
high into the mountains to graze on the lush grass and spring flowers
of the alpine meadows. In autumn they return to the villages before the
winter snows. The cows graze over the mountains for a 100 days from June
to September . The Beaufort is pale and white when made in the winter
and pale yellow when made in the summer. It is said that the chlorophyll
from the grass and the carotene from the alpine flowers gives this cheese
its colour and flavour.
The whey left over when making Beaufort
is used to make 'Sérac'. Sérac is a white cheese, similar to ricotta.
Its name derives from the Latin 'serum' meaning whey. Together with Tomme,
Sérac used to constitute the staple diet of the mountain people, who kept
their Beafort to sell at market.
There are three types of Beaufort: Beaufort,
Beaufort d'été (summer) and Beaufort d'alpage (made in chalets in the
mountains). All Beaufort is made in a similar way to Gruyère but can be
easily distinguished by the concave shape around the circumference produced
by the 'cercle de Beaufort' - this is a band placed around the cheese
which is tightened during the first pressing of the cheese. Beaufort does
not have holes. The cheese was baptised the 'Prince of Gruyères' by none
other than that great gastronome, Brillat-Savarin in the 19th Century
and it gained its A.O.C. status on 4th April 1968. This was modified on
29th December 1986 to include a wider area of acceptable production.
Our Beaufort is made in the spring and
summer from unpasteurised milk and is matured from 12 to 18 months to
give a rich hazelnut aroma and very fruity flavour which lingers in the
mouth. Each cheese is matured at 15 degrees C, at a humidity of 92% and
is repeatedly wiped and rubbed with brine. Each cheese measures from 35
to 75cm in diameter, 11 to 16cm in depth and weighs from 20 to 70kg. Twelve
litres of milk are needed for every one kilogram of cheese.
Beaufort is often enjoyed with Volnay (Côtes
de Beaune) or a golden yellow wine of the Savagnin grape (from the Savoie)
matured in oak casks for at least six years giving it a walnut flavour.
The cheese is often added to fondues and has earned its place in the best