Encyclopedia > Port-Salut cheese

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Port-Salut cheese

Production AreaBrittany, France
MilkCow milk
Fat content
Protein content
Aging time
S.A.F.R Port Salut is a semi-soft pasteurized cow's milk cheese from Brittany with a distinctive orange crust and a mild flavor. The cheese is produced in disks approximately 23 cm (9 inches) in diameter, weighing approximately 2 kg (5 lb).

The cheese was originally invented by Trappist monks during the 19th century at the abbey of Notre Dame du Port du Salut[?] in Entrammes[?]. The monks, many of whom had left France to escape persecution during the French revolution of 1789, learned cheese-making skills as a means of survival and brought those skills back with them upon their return in 1815. The name of their society, "Société Anonyme des Fermiers Réunis" (S.A.F.R.) later became their registered trademark, and is still printed on wheels of Port Salut cheese distributed today.

In 1873, the head of the abbey came to an agreement with a Parisian cheese-seller granting exclusive rights of distribution, and the cheese soon became popular. The abbey sought trade protection, and eventually (in 1959), sold the rights to a major creamery. The cheese is now produced in a factory; the characteristic smooth crust the result of a plastic-coated wrapper.

Handmade Port-du-Salut cheese or "Entrammes" cheese is still produced by various monasteries throughout the French countryside, and differs subtly from its commercial cousin.

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