A stroke of fortune has placed me next door to an amazing Fromagerie (cheese shop); located on Rue Cler in Paris. The close proximity has allowed me to try a different cheese each and every day. So far, my favorite is an Unpasteurized Goat Cheese. (pictured towards bottom of this post)
Above are pictured mostly main-stream cows cheese. Pictured below are mostly goats cheese, and mostly from smaller producers. (well the back row is obviously bleu cheese). France sells both pasteurized and unpasteurized (cru) cheeses. After trying both, I see that it makes a huge difference. Unpasteurized has much more flavor.
Now here is the secret: we Americans are being short-changed in our cheeses. Ironically, the saboteur was not necessary the FDA (which only mandates a 60 day aging process), but rather it is the Frenchman Louis Pasteur. Yes, I know, we all learned in school how pasteurization has made out food supply much safer. But the heating of the milk to 161-degrees not only kills most bacteria, but sadly kills off some of the milks natural flavors. Those flavors are supposed to get concentrated in cheese, so the effect of pasteurization is magnified in cheese.
But in terms of cheese (which is a different situation than milk), these bad bacteria will naturally die off after 60 days. So the bottom line; Pasteurization allows our cheeses to be sold too young and with too little flavor.
Rocamadour. Made from unpasturized goats milk. 1.50 euros for a tiny 35 gram piece.
Coeur de Lion, Camembert from Pasturized cows milk. 2 euros
Crottin Chavignol. Made from unpasturized goats milk. 3.20 euros.
My most unusual was an unpasturized sheeps cheese.