Whether made from goat’s or cow’s milk, Loire Valley cheeses are proudly representative of France. Some famous examples have been awarded a precious PDO certification (Protected Designation of Origin), like Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine goat’s cheese. Discover and enjoy our region’s cheeses! 


The Loire Valley is also the land of goat’s cheeses, whether fresh, ripened, or coated in ash… In this region and the surrounding area, there are five cheeses that have been awarded a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). They are all ripened in cellars for at least 10 days. 

One of them is the famous Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, a log of goat’s cheese that is easy to recognise thanks to the rye straw through the middle. It is made with fresh, whole, raw goat’s milk and hand-moulded. Originally, the straw was used to hold the cheese together. Nowadays, it is also a sign of traceability and quality, with the name of the appellation and ID number of the cheesemaker engraved upon it. 

M. Perreau – CRT Centre-Val de Loire
Buche de chèvre sur un présentoir en paille

In Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, there’s a whole museum dedicated to the renowned cheese: Les Passerelles Touraine.

T. Martrou – CRT Centre-Val de Loire
Fromage de Selles-sur-Cher, avec son étiquette

Produced at the intersection between Touraine, Berry and Sologne, Selles-sur-Cher is another famous goat’s cheese. This cylindrical cheese has a natural ash-coated rind and features a delicate, fine texture with a slightly hazelnutty flavour. These days, cheesemakers have replaced the traditionally used ash with plant-based charcoal. 

Now, let’s head to Berry, which is where the region’s three other PDO goat’s cheeses are found. Most French people don’t need to be introduced to Chavignol – it’s the most famous type of Crottin goat’s cheese! This little cylindrical cheese with a slightly convex centre is used in an infinite number of dishes, both savoury and sweet. As it is ripened, its rind will go from white to blueish. 

You will easily recognize Pouligny Saint-Pierre and Valençay on a cheese board, with their pyramid shapes. Each one has its own legend! For Pouligny, people say that when it was created, the villagers wanted to copy the shape of a church bell, which gave it its special shape. As for Valençay, the legend goes that Napoleon, after being defeated in Egypt, cut off the top of a Valençay cheese with his sabre. And thus was born the shortened pyramid shape! 

French Wanderers

Something else that’s worth noting is that Valençay is the name of two different products with protected designation of origin: the pyramid goat’s cheese and the wine. The only of its kind in France!


Clara Ferrand
Fromage de chèvre en forme de trèfle à 4 feuilles

While it doesn’t yet have a PDO, Trèfle du Perche is another goat’s cheese that is worth a detour! It is shaped like a four-leaf clover with slightly rounded edges. It was created by cheese producers in the early 2000s. They rediscovered a four-leaf clover mould and decided to use it to make a raw-milk goat’s cheese, ladle-moulded and coated in ash. 


In the Loire Valley, there are some cheeses whose names are well-known. One of them is Olivet Cendré, a delicious local cow’s cheese. Created in the Orléans region, it is disc-shaped and named after the ripening technique used, with charcoal ash or “cendre”. It helped to establish cow’s cheese as one of the Loire Valley’s gastronomic treasures, even if the region is best known for goat’s cheeses. 

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