The difference is always in their flavor.
More often than not, farmstead (aka Fermier) cheeses will be the most flavorful when compared to artisanal or dairy cheeses.
However, this is not to say that farmstead cheeses are absolute in quality every time.
Farmstead Cheese (Fermier)
Farmstead is also known as fermier, farmhouse, or alpage cheese. It means that the cheeses are produced on the same farm as the herds that produce the milk.
Farmstead cheese is made solely from a single herd or flock on the farm.
These cheeses taste so good because they are produced using the family’s own techniques based on their understanding of the optimal diets for their ruminants, the best terrain for different breeds, and how to properly care for their animals during different seasons.
These farmers are also excellent cheesemongers that understand the art of cheesemaking by fully utilizing the milk they yield and properly ripening their product.
All of this help make cheese with phenomenal character, which is the hallmark of farmstead cheeses.
Artisanal refers to cheeses created from several herds or flocks’ milk raised in close geographic proximity.
Dairy (or laitier in French) refers to cheeses that are made in a mixture of milk purchase in different farms (which can come from distant regions).
Articles You Might be Interested:
- Why You Should Never Freeze Cheese
- The Importance of ‘Relaxing’ Your Cheese Before Serving
- What Knives and Tools to Use When Serving Cheeses?
- 3 Tips to Enhance Your Cheese Tasting Experience
- How to ‘Taste’ Cheese Through the Nose
- 4 Simple Cheese Pairing Tips for Beginners
- Why Great Cheese Starts With Great Milk