Choose raw milk cheeses. They’re all different, all ‘living’, all rich with the aromas and smells of their local areas.

Find out about where the milk comes from. Milk is the fundamental ‘raw material’ for any cheese. Ask whether the makers used the milk of their own animals or bought it hundreds of kilometers away. Check whether the cheese comes from an intensive farm or from a family farm with a few dozen head of animals, mindful of their welfare and feed. Remember that a cheese’s flavor depends partly on what the animals eat.

Ask for information about the breed from which the milk comes. Give preference to local breeds, especially those in danger of extinction, as opposed to now common Friesians, a breed selected to become veritable ‘milk machines.’

Check whether the cheese was produced in a mountain dairy in summer, with the milk of cattle grazing in meadows rich in biodiversity, or milk from cattle living in barns. Check also whether the cheese was produced using artisan processing techniques or with industrial processes.

Look for cheeses made without the addition of industrial enzymes.

Choose cheeses with detailed labels, where possible without too much packaging.

Choosing cheese isn’t a dull routine and isn’t a matter of taste alone. It also means making a deliberate choice to support a certain type of agriculture, livestock farming and production.