For thousands of years, functioning in harmony through animals and also Mother Nature, the man has actually been developing a precious product: cheese. Proud of and wanting to respect his creations, he gave them graceful, poetic and expressive names. Clacbictou (Slapgoat), Crottin (Animal Dung), Vieux Puant (Old Smelly), Trou du cru (Butt Hole)… let’s look into it.

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There are an ext than 1300 cheese in France so we won’t take it a watch at each one but, ~ above the whole, we have the right to divide the surname of cheese into five categories: the name of origin, the intuitive names, the historical names, the dialectal names and the pistol names.

The name of Origin


The majority of cheeses have actually names that represent where they to be originally produced - this is simple one.


A pair of examples: Valençay originates from the village of Valençay, Cantal originates from the Cantal area of the Auvergne region, Comté comes from the Franche-Comté region, and also so on and so forth… Cheese names can additionally come from neighborhood geographical landmarks, prefer Mont d’Or of the mountain of the exact same name, which literally method the golden Mountain. There are additionally compound names, favor Ossau-Iraty, which have the right to be produced in the Ossau sink in the Pyrenees, but also in the forested an ar of Iraty top top the border of France and also Spain.


The intuitive Names


Some names describe the cheese’s shape: the Bûchette du Bois-Rond, which equates to the small Log the Bois-Rond (in the shape of a small, lumber log), the Pavé d’Auge or Auge’s shingle (in the form of a cobblestone), the Carré de l’Est, which method The Square of the east (in the shape of a square), the Boule de Lille, additionally known together Mimolette, an interpretation the ball from Lille (in the form of a ball), the Brique du Forez, which equates to the Brick the Forez (in the form of a brick)... Okay, you acquire the idea...


The historic Names

Some examples:



In the 5th century CE, the Heathens were wont come burn, rape and also pillage, making it difficult to live in Aveyron in southerly France, or anywhere else for that matter. A small village of ferocious and also steadfast Aveyronian shepherds chose to fight back by fortifying your village, i beg your pardon consequently came to be known as Roca forta in Latin, definition The Fortress. The name of the town morphed into Roquefort, climate Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. The cheese originating indigenous this village inherited its name.



In the 7th century CE, Italian Benedictine monks moved into the Fecht sink in eastern France and also build a monastery in honor of Saint Gregory. The bordering area came to be called the valley of Saint Gregory, then the Munster Valley, native the latin monasterium, or monastery. The monks make a washed rind cheese at the monastery which was baptised through the exact same name.


La cervelle de Canut, or Canut’s mind

It’s not a brain but a local specialty from the southeastern French city that Lyon: fresh, soft cheese, also known as fromage blanc, blended with chives and herbs. This sort of cheese to be cheap to make and rich in protein; basically what the bad ate. And the negative in 19th century Lyon to be the silk weavers, also known as “canuts.” The “brain” that Canuts’ mind is in referral to the shape of the cheese.

The Dialectal name


This word comes from the verb “re-blocher” in the dialect of the Savoy region, literally definition “to pinch again,” as in “to milk a second time.” ago then farmers were taxation on their milk production, therefore they would milk a very first time if the inspector to be watching, climate a 2nd time in an enig to make Reblochon, or “Second Milking!”


The Chabichou the Poitou, Chavignol and also others

This surname derives indigenous the arabic chebli, which method “small goat.” In their occupation of land, the Moors raided and conquered the Poitou-Charentes and also Limousin areas of France in the 8 hours century CE. Few of the Moors chose to work out in your newly occupied land, began making goat cheese and also taught the local populace their methods -- thus the surname Chabichou the Poitou.


The Pélardon

The name Pélardon originates from “pebre” in the old Occitan dialect, an interpretation “pepper.” The Pélardon is a smal, round, flat cheese make in the South-Central mountainous an ar of Cévennes which has actually a spicy and also peppery taste.

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The gun Names!

Le vieux puant (also recognized as vieux Lille, gris de Lille), or Old Stinky (or Old Lille, or The Drunk the Lille).


This cheese is a mutant Maroilles. The French cheese Maroilles, as is, currently makes girlfriend wrinkle her nose. So now take a Maroilles and also soak the in salt water because that three lengthy months. Currently you"ve gained a great and stinky Vieux Lille. 

Cacouyard, or Shit Balls

This name is born of the verb “cacouyer,” meaning “to row or mix cheese” in the old Franc-comtois dialect of the Franche-Comté region. The surname in French has actually a pretty ring to it: Shit Balls.


Le trou du cru, or butt Hole

Yes, okay, occasionally cheese smells negative but it’s no what girlfriend think…


The “trou de cru,” which literally method the “hole in the raw,” is in reality a byproduct of make Époisses cheese. Because it was difficult to acquire Époisses to period consistently every the way to the facility of the cheese, the center was gotten rid of while it to be still somewhat raw -- the is come say not aged. Quite simply, lock made hole in the life cheese. In French, however, the surname sounds nearly identical to “butt hole.”


Le crottin de chavignol, or The Poop that Chavignol

The Poop that Chavignol got its name from the ax “crot” the the main Berry an ar of France, which refers to the river bank where, back in the day, women used to wash laundry. The clay follow me the flow was offered by peasants, very first for oil lamps, then together molds to drainpipe cheese curd. “Crot” gave means to “crottin,” the container providing its surname to the contents. In French, however, “crot” sounds pretty similar to the word for poop... 

There are other names the seem to have actually fallen native the sky. That’s because they make civilization laugh and it sells: le téton de Saint-Agathe or Saint-Agathe’s Titty, le bouton de culotte or the Painties’ Button, la boule des moines or The Monks’ One Ball…You see, French world can be creative!