This hard cheese from France is made with milk from cows that have grazed on alpine grasses and wildflowers; it is rich, nutty and sweet.
Beaufort d'Alpage is still only made during the summer months when the cows are moved up to the mountains to graze on alpine grass and wildflowers. This huge benchmark cheese dates back to Roman times and is known as the “Prince of Gruyeres”. Each wheel captures the rich diversity of the herbage found growing in the remote alpine valleys, which is reflected in the floral, sweet, condensed, nutty flavours and dense, smooth texture of each wheel. During maturation of at least 12 months, each wheel is brushed with a brine solution to help develop the natural rind, which in turn develops the complex flavours of the cheese. The wheels are formed in special wooden hoops with concave sides that distinguish Beaufort from other Gruyere-style cheeses.
A little history about Beaufort
According to AOC* rules, Beaufort can only be made in the Savoie and Haute-Savoie departments in the Rhône-Alps region of eastern France. Beaufort d’Alpage (meaning “of mountain pasture”) is only made in the summer in small mountain chalets. The milk comes from the Tarentaise breed of cows that graze at altitudes of 6,000 feet or more. It takes approximately 530L of milk, the daily production of 30 cows, to make 1 wheel of Beaufort.