- Cheeses -
There is an ancient tradition of cheese-making in Mayenne.
In the 17th century, Trappist monks made cheese at the Notre Dame du Port du Salut abbey in Entrammes, near Laval. However, it was only in 1938 that the cheese acquired its name, “Port-Salut ”.
In 1912, Monsieur Le Masne de Brons was driving in the area and broke down near the Château du Bois Belleray in Martigné sur Mayenne. Charmed by the place, he decided to set up a cheese dairy which would later become the Vaubernier fromagerie and where they now produce the delicious Bons Mayennais camembert.
In 1933, André Besnier, a young man from Laval, began the story of the Lactel Group, now a world leader in dairy products. Follow the link to see about the museum in Laval telling his story.
The Montsûrs fromagerie has been producing organic cheese and butter for more than 20 years, long before organic products were popular.
Today, Mayenne is ranked 5th out of all the dairy-producing departments in France.
Port-Salut, Chamois d’or, Chaussée aux Moines, Vieux Pané, Saint Paulin, Rouy, Babybel, Bons Mayennais, Président… so many cheeses from Mayenne that are known and loved by all!
FARM-PRODUCED CHEESES A number of new Mayenne cheeses have appeared over the past few years.
On-site at the farm, producers transform the milk into cheeses such as “Tomme de Pail ” and “Petit Vache ”, but also produce cheese made from ewes and goats milk, such as the celebrated “La Rouairie ” cheese produced by the Saint-Berthevin-la-Tannière fromagerie and served in many of the gourmet restaurants in Mayenne.
There’s even a Mayenne version of “gouda ”, produced by a Dutch farming couple who live in Bazougers.
The Trappist nuns from La Coudre Abbey in Laval mature the famous “Trappe de la Coudre ” in their cellar.
And last but certainly not least, “Entrammes ”, an organic cheese made from unpasteurised whole milk, is produced in a completely new dairy cooperative located on land that once belonged to the Notre Dame du Port du Salut abbey in Entrammes.