Cantal AOC is one of the oldest cheeses in France dating to the times of the Gaul’s rule. It received an Appellation d'Origine (AOC) status from the administrative region of Cantal in the Auvergne region in 1956. This has ensured that the semi-hard, uncooked, pressed cheese has the features and characteristics attributable to the area of origin. There are three types of Cantal cheese, grouped according to age and texture. Cantal jeune, a young cheese is aged at 30 to 60 days during which it develops a thin gray-ivory crust and a smooth, pale yellow, close-textured paste. It is fresh, sweet, milky in flavour with a light hint of hazelnut, and vanilla. Cantal Entre-deux, an aged Cantal has the flavours of the green pastures and aromas of butter and cream. From 3 months of ripening, Cantal cheese starts to come into its own. Creative Commons/TechniqueA well-aged Cantal Vieux has a thick crust and is a cheese connoisseur’s delight. Due to the lengthy ripening period, the cheese has become more strongly flavoured and is a typical hard cheese with a firm, brittle and crumbly paste. The 8-month stay inside the cellars let Cantal develop a peppery and spicy aroma. The cheese is additionally grouped as “fremier” and “laitier”, wherein fermier is a farmhouse cheese made of raw milk while laitier is the commercial, mass-produced version from pasteurised milk. Cantal works well with nuts, grapes and apples as well can be used in salads, soups, cheese fondue or gratins. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are a few wines that pair nicely with Cantal.