This massive alpine cheese (90 pound wheels) is an uncommon cheese in any form, but it is particularly difficult to find one that is made in the alpage style. It is produced in and around the area of Beaufort, in the Savoie region of France. Beaufort cheese is made in three varieties; Beaufort, Beaufort d'été (summer Beaufort), and Beaufort d'Alpage, which is made using the milk of cows that have fed on Alpine pastures and is produced in the mountain chalets using the most traditional methods. All Beaufort is made using the milk of the mahogany-colored Beaufort cows, also known as Tarines or Tarentaises. Each wheel requires about 130 gallons of milk to make.
We work with a couple of different affineurs to bring us the best Beaufort Alpage we can find. We bring in whole wheels directly to ensure their quality, and only during the winter months when we are able to get the cheeses made using milk from cows that have fed on the grasses of the high mountain pastures. The cheese itself has a dense but buttery texture, with a deep flavor of nuts, hay and some even say they get a taste of the alpine herbs that the cows have eaten.