local cheese makers
© P. Beltrami

Mayenne cheeses

Local brands with international renown

The famous brands of Port-Salut, Chaussée aux Moines, Chamois d’Or, Meule d’Or, Fol Épi, Président, Les Bons Mayennais… are familiar to cheese lovers everywhere. In Mayenne, land of good cattle breeding and rich pastures, the cheese-making tradition is deeply ingrained. As early as the 18th century, the monks of the Port du Salut abbey made the cheese known today as Port-Salut.

The world leader Lactalis started out as a modest dairy and still remains close to its Mayenne roots.

A living tradition

In more recent times, where local production and organic farming are back in vogue, the innovative cheese dairies of the region rely mostly on the excellent milk of the Valleys of the river Mayenne. You can visit the producers and taste their farmhouse cheeses.

The Montsûrs cheesemakers and the “Montsûrais” – the folks who work here – have been organic pioneers since the 1980s. The Fromagerie Bio du Maine produces a soft cheese called Entrammes and a more refined version, Entrammes Tradition. There’s also the traditional Gouda made by Willem and Marieke de Kam in Bazougers. This couple from Holland have been operating an organic farm for 25 years which also doubles as a camping site.

A serendipitous stop

In 1912, a certain Monsieur de Brons broke down in his car, and by accident discovered the surroundings of the Château de Bois-Belleray in Martigné.

Without further ado, he set up a cheese factory (today called Vaubernier) which produces the excellent “Bons Mayennais” Camembert, as well as butter.

A local speciality and also a signature brand of Mayenne and an emblem for the local people.

A shop is open at the factory from Monday to Friday.

The “Cité du Lait” dairy museum

This is the most astonishing, the most modern and, for your children, the most entertaining of the Mayenne museums. In the original factory of the Lactalis group, the Cité du Lait tells the local and worldwide history of dairy products, their place in our heritage and our culture.

From the entirely restored old dairy to all the products for sale around the world, from ancestral crafts to industry, the Cité du Lait takes you on a fun and fascinating journey.

La Tourte MayennaiseLa Tourte Mayennaise La Tourte Mayennaise

Did you know…

The Tourte mayennaise (tourte is a kind of pie), designed by two young Mayenne chefs, combines Entrammes cheese with beef and apples.

It is marketed by Les Gorronnaises.

 

Jacques B.

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