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Is there a term for a cheese expert?

Like sommelier is to wine or charcuterie is to cured meats?

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      1. Not to nitpick, but a person skilled in making charcuterie is a charcutier. I have no idea about cheese, but I would love to earn that distinction!

          1. it's not clear exactly what you're looking for in your analogies, but you might
            look up "affineur" [affinage] as well as the "fromager" mentioned above.

              1. You may want to look up Monsieur Herve Mons. According to the French government, he is a certified expert in cheeses. He sometimes lectures at the Murray's cheese shop tasting room in New York. He is an "affineur" who selects and ages cheese.

                3 Replies
                1. re: vicki_vale

                  Hervé Mons is a Maître Fromager , just as I suggested above. See e.g.

                  1. re: Brian S

                    "affineur," "fromager," "Maitre Fromager," ... In other words, there is no widely accepted or standard term for a cheese expert.

                      1. re: sivyaleah

                        if this "celebrity cheese" trend continues, how about "fromage entourage" ...

                    1. I have seen a business card with the term "Cheese Monger" on it. Maybe it was made up, but it gives the impression.

                      1. Cheese Monger is a British term if I am not mistaken. An Affineur is one who ages cheeses so your expert amy or may not be one.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: deangold

                          a cheese monger actually sells cheese.

                        2. We always called the boss "the chief sniffer of the cheese"

                          1. I'm pretty sure on this. Fromager is the term I've become famiiar with for the person who fulfills the cheese role closest to that of the Sommelier for wine.The Montage Resort (here in Laguna Beach) has a staff of 'cheese experts" in their Loft Restaurant. The senior person, Star Cornwall, is their Fromager. She is responsible for the 'cheese list', explains the cheeses, helps you with your selection, even helps prepare the plates. sortof the 'executive chef d' cheese'.

                            As far as I know, an Affineur (while certainly a cheese expert) is responsible for the production through final ripening of the cheese, but not necessarily in dealing with the public. The Artisan, in NYC, while it doesn't make cheese, does do the final ripening, and their staff are called 'Affineurs' as well.

                            4 Replies
                              1. re: Flynn1

                                You're late! Veggo already wrote that above :-)

                                1. re: sivyaleah

                                  I owe you a gold-plated lapel pin, I suppose.

                                  1. re: sivyaleah

                                    You're right! I hadn't read all the posts.

                                    Okay, how about The Big Cheese?

                                1. cheese experts and fromagers

                                  check out who some of them are on the artisanal site:

                                  1. I just phoned Artisanal restaurant in NYC and they said Fromager.

                                    1. Professor Stink Chequer - unless that's me having flashbacks to checking my kids diapers.

                                      1. *ahem*

                                        A Cheese Monger is indeed a seller of cheese. Just as a fish monger is a seller of fish. As others have noted, there is no term in the cheese world equivalent to a sommelier, which implies a certain level of education and expertise in the subject.

                                        An affineur is essentially an ager of cheese. A distinction in Europe that is not quite as relevant here. Again, M. Mons, Rolf Beeler (Switz) and Luigi Guffanti (Italy) are examples of great European affineurs.

                                        The Maitre Fromager is probably as close to a sommelier as I would go, but again, there is nothing like the Court of Master Sommeliers in the world of cheese.

                                        (And while we are at it, let's not forget caseophile, lover of cheese)

                                        1. We called our cheese expert a "Cheese Goddess"

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: lunchbox

                                            If I called Mr McCalman (at Picholine, NYC) that, he might be, if not offended, a bit puzzled.

                                            1. re: Brian S

                                              Max McCalman does indeed take his cheese quite seriously. In addition to being the Maitre d' Fromage' for Picholine, Daphne Zepos, Waldemar Albrecht, and Gerry Dawes, he's heavily involved with Artisanal Cheese (NYC) which is much more than a cheese shop. From what I know of it, they are affineurs (finishers) for a rather long list of the area's best restaurants. I know he has a sense of humor, so maybe he'd think some of the funnier suggestions were 'cute'?

                                              1. Purveyor of the Fermented Curd (but only in a Python sketch). But seriously, I admire the fromager's skill.