Photo of Cantal Cheese
Thesupermat / CC BY-SA 4.0
Important Facts
Country of Origin France
Specific Origin Département of Cantal
Certification AOC (1956), PDO (2007)
Milk Type Cow's Milk
Milk Treatment Raw
Rind Gray-white to golden
Texture Firm
Flavor Varies
Flavor Notes Jeune: Soft, milk-and-butter. Entre-Deux: Balanced, intense. Vieux: Powerful, spicy. Diversity of grasslands contributes to flavor.
Aroma Varies
Colors Gray-white to golden
Forms Wheel
Age Jeune: 30-60 days, Entre-Deux: 90-210 days, Vieux: >8 months
Rennet Type Rennet

About Cantal Cheese

Cantal cheese originates from the mountainous Cantal region in south-central France, a place known for its lush, volcanic soil and abundant grasslands. Documented by Pliny the Elder over two millennia ago, Cantal has been a staple in French cuisine, earning its AOC in 1956 and PDO status in 2007. Unique among French cheeses, it is named after a département, reflecting its deep ties to the local landscape and agriculture. The region's diverse flora contributes to the distinct taste of Cantal, with cows grazing on over sixty types of plants during the summer.

The process of making Cantal cheese has stood the test of time, involving traditional steps from curdling with rennet to pressing and salting the curds. This labor of love results in large wheels of cheese, each requiring hundreds of quarts of milk. The cheese is then aged in cellars, where it develops its characteristic flavors and textures.

Cantal is available in three varieties: the spicy and robust Vieux; the balanced Entre-Deux; and the mild and creamy Jeune. Each offers a glimpse into the region's rich culinary heritage, with Cantal Jeune featuring prominently in aligot, a beloved local dish.

Cantal cheese embodies the essence of French cheesemaking, a tribute to the rich, volcanic pastures of its homeland and the centuries-old traditions that continue to define its unique character.

Cantal Cheeses on AnyCheese

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