Coopérative Laitière de Haute Tarentaise

Chronically passed up for its pock-marked cousin, the “Prince of Gruyères” is now showing what it’s made of (in more ways than one) at Bourg-Saint-Maurice’s spiffing new Beaufort AOP centre.

A veritable Mecca to Savoie’s star AOP cheese snug in the shadow of Mont-Blanc, the Coopérative Laitière de Haute Tarentaise’s shop-education hub hybrid opened at the tail end of March and flies the flag for the crumbly stinker, sweeping turophiles on a whirlwind journey through its complex production process – from milking and refining to quality control – with tastings galore to boot.

An institution ever since its inception in 1964 in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, the 52-strong Coopérative Laitière has been a proud bastion of Savoyard savoir-faire – handling 8m litres of milk and turning out 18,000 wheels of Beaufort AOP per year no less – championing quality and traceability and, crucially, preserving a fast-waning cheesemaking tradition for future generations. Keen to step up its safeguarding mission, some six months ago, the collective set its sights on turning its humble HQ and fromagerie into a state-of- the-art learning centre offering the ultimate field-to-fork experience.

Tarte au Beaufort

As well as charting the cheese’s centuries-old history, the cooperative pays tribute to the industry’s unsung heroines – the Tarine and Abondance cattle responsible for Beaufort’s uniquely nutty flavour and firm yet creamy texture – with a darling photo exhibition and videos of the cud-chewers placidly grazing the Tarentaise Valley’s flower-studded pastures to the clinkity clink of bells. This eye-opening foray into Beaufort’s production secrets complete, gourmands will get to put their knowledge to the test and indulge in a gut-busting dégustation… at the 15-metre-long cheese counter!

For more information visit www.fromagebeaufort.fr

THREE WAYS TO ENJOY… BEAUFORT

Prepare to gorge yourself silly on the “Prince of Gruyères”

Classic Fondue

You can’t beat the Holy Trinity – Beaufort, Emmental and Comté – drenched in white wine and simmered to perfection in fondue Savoyarde. Ideal to warm those cockles on a nippy spring day.

Fondue. Photo: Shutterstock

A Spin on Tartiflette

Purists will recoil at the prospect of foregoing gooey Reblochon but we’re rather partial to a generous coating of Beaufort on our Tartiflette. You could go for a double whammy and fling in both…

A Calorie-Laden Tarte

Ready for off-the-charts cheesy goodness? The Tarte au Beaufort is the artery-clogging marriage of butter-laden pastry, heavy cream and eggs, the lot smothered in a thick layer of cheese. Delish!

From France Today magazine

Tartiflette. Photo: Shutterstock
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