For hundreds of years, working in harmony via animals and also Mother Nature, the male has been creating a precious product: cheese. Proud of and wanting to honor his innovations, he offered them graceful, poetic and also 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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Tright here are even more than 1300 cheeses in France so we won’t take a look at each one yet, on the entirety, we can divide the names of cheeses into five categories: the names of beginning, the visual names, the historic names, the dialectal names and the gross names.

The Names of Origin


The majority of cheeses have names that represent where they were originally created - this is an easy one.


A couple of examples: Valençay comes from the village of Valençay, Cantal originates from the Cantal location of the Auvergne area, Comté comes from the Franche-Comté area, and also so on and also so forth… Cheese names have the right to additionally come from neighborhood geographical landmarks, prefer Mont d’Or of the mountain of the same name, which literally means the Golden Mountain. There are also compound names, prefer Ossau-Iraty, which deserve to be produced in the Ossau Valley in the Pyrenees, but likewise in the forested region of Iraty on the border of France and also Spain.


The Visual Names


Some names refer to the cheese’s shape: the Bûchette du Bois-Rond, which translates to the Small Log of Bois-Rond (in the shape of a tiny, lumber log), the Pavé d’Auge or Auge’s Cobblestone (in the form of a cobblestone), the Carré de l’Est, which means The Square of the East (in the shape of a square), the Boule de Lille, likewise recognized as Mimolette, interpretation the Ball from Lille (in the form of a ball), the Brique du Forez, which converts to the Brick of Forez (in the shape of a brick)... okay, you obtain the concept...


The Historic Names

Some examples:



In the 5th century CE, the Heathens were wont to burn, rape and also pillage, making it difficult to live in Aveyron in Southern France, or all over else for that issue. A little village of ferocious and steadfast Aveyronian shepherds chose to fight earlier by fortifying their village, which consequently ended up being well-known as Roca forta in Latin, definition The Fortress. The name of the village morphed into Roquefort, then Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. The cheese originating from this village inherited its name.



In the 7th century CE, Italian Benedictine monks moved into the Fecht Valley in Eastern France and build a monastery in honor of Saint Gregory. The bordering location became dubbed the Valley of Saint Gregory, then the Munster Valley, from the latin monasterium, or monastery. The monks made a wamelted rind cheese at the monastery which was baptised with the very same name.


La cervelle de Canut, or Canut’s Brain

It’s not a brain but a neighborhood specialty from the southeastern French city of Lyon: fresh, soft cheese, likewise known as fromage blanc, mixed through chives and also herbs. This type of cheese was cheap to make and also affluent in protein; fundamentally what the poor ate. And the negative in 19th century Lyon were the silk weavers, also recognized as “canuts.” The “brain” of Canuts’ Brain is in reference to the shape of the cheese.

The Dialectal Names


This word originates from the verb “re-blocher” in the language of the Savoy area, literally meaning “to pinch aobtain,” as in “to milk a second time.” Back then farmers were taxed on their milk manufacturing, so they would certainly milk a first time while the inspector was watching, then a 2nd time in key to make Reblochon, or “2nd Milking!”


The Chabichou of Poitou, Chavignol and others

This name derives from the arabic chebli, which means “small goat.” In their conquest of land, the Moors raided and overcame the Poitou-Charentes and also Limousin areas of France in the 8th century CE. A few of the Moors made a decision to work out in their recently populated land also, started making goat cheese and taught the regional population their approaches -- for this reason the name Chabichou of Poitou.


The Pélardon

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

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The Gross Names!

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


This cheese is a mutant Maroilles. The French cheese Maroilles, as is, already renders you wrinkle your nose. So now take a Maroilles and also soak it in salt water for 3 lengthy months. Now you"ve obtained an excellent and also stinky Vieux Lille. 

Cacouyard, or Shit Balls

This name is born of the verb “cacouyer,” definition “to stir or mix cheese” in the old Franc-comtois language of the Franche-Comté area. The name in French has a nice ring to it: Shit Balls.


Le trou du cru, or Butt Hole

Yes, okay, occasionally cheese smells poor however it’s not what you think…


The “trou de cru,” which literally implies the “hole in the raw,” is actually a byproduct of making Époisses cheese. Since it was hard to acquire Époisses to age repetitively all the means to the center of the cheese, the center was rerelocated while it was still somewhat raw -- that is to say not aged. Quite ssuggest, they made hole in the raw cheese. In French, yet, the name sounds practically similar to “butt hole.”


Le crottin de chavignol, or The Poop of Chavignol

The Poop of Chavignol gained its name from the term “crot” of the main Berry region of France, which refers to the river financial institution wbelow, earlier in the day, women offered to wash laundry. The clay along the river was used by peasants, first for oil lamps, then as molds to drainpipe cheese curd. “Crot” provided way to “crottin,” the container offering its name to the contents. In French, yet, “crot” sounds pretty equivalent to the word for poop... 

There are other names that seem to have fallen from the sky. That’s because they make human being 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 view, French people can be creative!