A luxury barge holiday is an experience like no other, especially in Burgundy – a region often described as the heart of France. Well known for its stunning châteaux and celebrated for its wine and gastronomy, the region has all the ingredients needs to make it memorable including a variety of the best Burgundy Cheeses…
A Guide to Three of the Best Burgundy Cheeses
Days can be spent relaxing on board watching the rolling hills and oak forests as you float by, or exploring traditional market towns, charming cities and local historical and cultural attractions. Evenings will see you enjoying the finest food and wine of the region, prepared by your own chef and served by the crew on board the barge.
A big part of the gastronomy in Burgundy, and something you will have the opportunity to enjoy daily on the vessel, is the cheese, and many visitors aim to leave this region laden down with the best the area has to offer.
There are many different types that are synonymous with the area, so here is a guide to the most famous three…
1. Époisses de Bourgogne
Simply divine in taste and texture, it comes as no surprise as to why we think this is one of best Burgundy’s cheeses. This unctuous, aromatic offering is named after the town in which it is made. Legend has it that in the sixteenth century, the creamery was established in the Abbaye de Cȋteaux. Washed in alcohol made with grape must (Marc de Bourgogne), this full fat cheese became a firm favourite among the noblemen of the time, and indeed when Napoleon I was King, he made sure everyone knew about it!
At the beginning of the last century more than 300 farms produced Époisses, but due to the two World Wars decimating a significant number of the male population, the farms went into decline. Thankfully, in more recent years Simone and Robert Berthaut re-established the production and there are now many more makers of this wonderful variety once again.
When you get a chance to look round a local market on your barge holiday, make sure you look out for the delicious Époisses.
Made from goat’s milk, this cheese can be eaten young, half-matured or mature, with each imparting different levels of acidity. Back in the sixteenth century much of the land here was used by labourers and sharecroppers who came to graze their goats (considered the poor cousin to the cow). Women were the goat’s primary carers and they began to make the Charolais and sell it to supplement the household income.
Today the cheese has gained a little more prestige, and its subtle woody, almost mushroom flavour has afforded it a reputation as one of the best known goat milk varieties of the region.
A much more modern offering, the delicious Cȋteaux only came to fruition in 1925, which is surprising as the Abbaye of St Nicolas des Cȋteaux was founded in 1098. It is soft in every sense, from its ivory texture to its delicately pungent taste and, as a classic monastic French cheese, it makes third place as one of the best Burgundy’s cheeses. Today the abbey is home to 35 monks who make around 300 rounds of cheese twice a week exclusively for the abbey shop.
Other options you will no doubt have the good fortune to taste on your barge vacation in beautiful Burgundy might include Langres, Plaisir au Chablis, Macconais, Montrachet and Soumaintrain. Some more examples of the best Burgundy cheeses.
Savour Burgundy's Best Cheeses
Other options you will no doubt have the good fortune to taste on your barge vacation in beautiful Burgundy might include Langres, Plaisir au Chablis, Macconais, Montrachet and Soumaintrain – some more examples of the best Burgundy cheeses.
Cruise Burgundy on a luxury hotel barge: