The cheese making process is exacting. 
All producers comply with a set of official specifications covering everything from  cow feeding and animal origin to detailed production processes.

The cheesemaking process takes approximately 33 hours. Once the cow-milk has been collected, a dose of rennet is added to facilitate coagulation and curdling. This produces small grains in the curdled mixture. These grains are then drained, pressed and cut into firm blocks which are left to ripen for a minimum 10 hour period to encourage lactic fermentation.

The blocks are then crushed, salted, mixed and repacked into cylindrical molds lined with fine linen cloth for a second 12-16 hour pressing.

Aging takes place to produce three different varieties: 

  • Young Cantal: 30 to 60 days
  • Cantal in between: 90 to 210 days
  • Old Cantal: 240 days minimum

Cantal was granted AOC statue in 1956. All told, the industry supports 
nearly 2,200 producers in the region with exports across France and internationally.


Cantal, a large cylindrical cheese named after the Cantal Mountains in the Auvergne Region, is one of the oldest cheeses in France dating back to Gaulic times. There are now two varieties: “fermier” made in more limited quantities from raw cow-milk; and “laitier” made from pasteurized cow-milk for wider commercial distribution. ​The cheese is referenced in numerous historical text. Pliny the Elder in Book XI of his Natural History notes that Cantal was esteemed as far away as Rome during the Roman period. Grégoire de Tours 6th Century Histoire de France describes villagers washing Cantal with cheese cloths in a lake. 


live le lot