Cheese in numbers: France’s obsession with fromage

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Cheese in numbers: France’s obsession with fromage

From cheese types to the amount eaten per year, via cheese favourites - here's a look at how France really feels about fromage.


March 27th is the Journée nationale du fromage in France – so here are a few facts about the delicious dairy delicacy.


Charles de Gaulle famously once asked of governing France: “How can anyone govern a country with 246 varieties of cheese?”.

His numbers were wrong. Producers in France make closer to 1,000 varieties of cheese – and some have estimated that figure could be pushed up as high as 1,600.



The number of cheese ‘families’ in France. A good cheeseboard in France is generally considered to consist of at least three ‘families’ – a soft cheese, a hard cheese and either a blue or a goat's cheese. Remember, too, an odd number of fromages on a platter is better than an even number, according from cheese etiquettists

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About how long – in years – it would take you to try every cheese made in France, if you tried a new variety every day. Life goals. 


The percentage of people in France who say they eat cheese at least once a week, spending seven percent of their weekly food bill on it.

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Two-fifths of French people say they eat cheese every day


The amount of cheese produced, in kilogrammes, in France every second, according to this website, which has a counter to show you how fast that really is. It’s estimated that 1.8 million tonnes of cheese are produced in France every year.


The French consume, on average, a whopping 27 kilogrammes of cheese per person per year.

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The three most popular cheeses in France, based on sales, are Emmental, Camembert, and Raclette – followed by mozzarella, goat’s cheese, Comté and Coulommiers.


Some 63 cheeses have been awarded the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée status, which means they can only be produced in a certain region.


France has – or at least soon will have – one dedicated cheese museum. 

READ ALSO Three things to know about the new Paris cheese museum


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