“Cheddar Is NOT Real Cheese,”
said the Frenchman.
A real statement from a good friend of mine.
Walk into any decent-sized grocery store in France and head over to the cheese section. What you’ll see is a myriad of cheese varieties that will make your head spin.
Now try to find Cheddar cheese. “Cheddar cheese in French is FROMAGE CHEDDAR”
If you’re in a smallish town or located outside Paris, look closely because you either won’t find any cheddar cheese or you’ll see one single type, maybe two, usually an aged block of cheddar from the UK or Ireland. Sometimes you can find small
It just depends on the store and location. I can find cheddar at the Monoprix at one location here in Montpellier but not another. At Auchan, they never have any aged cheese, just the orange sliced cheddar cheese.
In bigger cities like Paris, you’re more likely to find a wider variety of cheddar but it’s still hit or miss depending on the store.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to find Cheddar cheese in France.
I’m simply pointing out that Cheddar isn’t a popular cheese in France and is more difficult to find relative to the hundreds of different cheeses produced and consumed in France on a regular basis.
Some of my French friends don’t even know what Cheddar cheese tastes like while others jokingly tell me Cheddar is “fade” or “sans goût” tasteless, compared to
It’s not their fault. Most of their experience with Cheddar cheese is limited to eating Cheddar cheese on a burger or American cheese (that flat square cheese) on a McDonald’s hamburger.
You might be interested in reading about how the French love McDonald’s.
The French don’t consider Cheddar a worthy cheese
My daughter’s best friend’s father, Franck, is your typical French guy. When I say typical, I mean he represents a good majority of the French population with regards to his views.
He’s proud, almost to a fault when it comes to French customs, culture and cuisine. I say this with the utmost respect of course because I’ve learned so much about French culture thanks to my French friends.
The unsaid Frenchman’s credo
- He believes that baguettes are a daily thing consumed with dinner and maybe even for breakfast. No, French people don’t eat croissants every morning.
- Certain French dishes must never be tampered with, ever, never, ever!
- Wine can and should be consumed with dinner on a regular basis, not beer.
- And most of all, cheese is important. You should try to have a variety of cheeses on hand to eat after meals but Cheddar cheese is not one of them because it’s NOT A REAL CHEESE which really means, he believes it’s beneath French standards. Not my words.
But I digress. It is what it is and I can’t nor do I want to change how the whole country looks at cheese.
What I really want to talk about is the cheeses you can use in place of Cheddar.
Cheddar cheese alternatives I use in France
First of all, I’m not a cheese expert and I rarely ever ate cheese before moving to France back in 2011 except when I ate out at a fancier restaurant with my husband.
Times change, and I always include a cheese board and or a charcuterie board whenever I invite friends over for a small apero.
Since moving to France, I’ve sampled cheeses I didn’t even know existed and I’ve grown a new appreciation for the art of cheese making which dates back to the time of the Egyptians over 7,000 years ago in present-day Croatia.
About these Cheddar cheese substitutes
None of the cheeses on my list taste exactly like Cheddar and a couple taste nothing like Cheddar but they still work well in many of my recipes which call for cheddar.
You might be interested in reading about French vegan cheese recipes
Cantal (the cousin of Cheddar cheese)
Out of all the cheeses on this list,
It’s believed the Romans brought
Edam vs Cheddar Cheese
BabyBel is actually Edam cheese:
BabyBel was created by Groupe Bel, a French company in the Jura region of France.
If you’ve ever tried BabyBel, you’ve actually already tried
Mimolette vs Cheddar Cheese
Sometimes called “Boule de Lille” or “Vieux Hollande.”Mimolette is the French version of Edam.
Cheese mites are the secret to
The secret to the earthy nutty taste and its textured crust of
Back In 1675, during the French-Dutch war, Jean-Louis Colbert, the French minister who served King Louis XIV prohibited the import of Dutch cheeses into France. The people who lived in the northernmost region of France, which is now Belgium had strong cultural ties to Holland and loved Dutch cheeses—they complained wildly about the ban.
Colbert ordered the farmers of the region to produce their own Frenchified (better version) of
Aged Gouda vs Cheddar
Another Dutch cheese that is popular throughout France is
Aged gouda is excellent on grilled cheese sandwiches but it goes well with a classic burger too. In some French restaurants, you’ll find Gouda is a cheese option for burgers but then again, so is Blue cheese.
Emmental or French Gruyere vs Cheddar Cheese
People often get confused between French Gruyere and
French Gruyere is France’s version of Swiss Cheese and also has holes. Swiss Gruyere has no holes.
It’s the cheese on a French Croque Monsieur
Do you know what “Croque Monsieur” means? Mister Crunch. Sounds better in French, doesn’t it?
Tasty has a quick video that shows you how to make a Croque using Gruyère cheese.
Here are some other recipes that use Gruyere or
- Cheese Fondue
- French Onion soup
- Gratin dauphinoise ( au gratin style potatoes)
- Cordon Bleu
- Gratin de Macaronis (French mac and cheese)
Good luck and Bon appetit.
- Mac and Cheese– I use
Gouda& Cantalwith a bit of Blue cheese.
- Tacos– I use
- Sandwiches– Swiss, sliced
Mimolette, Cantal, Gouda, Edamor any cheese I want to try.
- Omelettes– I don’t particularly like Swiss cheese or Emmental omelettes but all the other cheeses on this list go well inside an omelette.
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