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How to find Vegetarian Cheese in France

March 26, 2009

Finding vegetarian cheese (cheese made with non-animal rennet) in the UK has been easy for a number of years now, due to the clear labeling of products, indicating whether, or not, they are vegetarian.

In France the labeling of foodstuff to indicate whether suitable for vegetarians (convient aux végétariens) is not widespread at the moment (see below for the exception we have found).

In fact, many cheeses, you can buy in French supermarkets, fail to fully list the ingredients.

So, if you can’t rely on hoping to find the label convient aux végétariens, on cheese, what should you look for?

Well if the cheese doesn’t list it’s ingredients assume it is NOT vegetarian: put it down and move on. If the ingredients are listed look for one of these two words: “présure” or  “coagulant”.

If the word “présure” is on the label it is safe to assume this is animal rennet and therefore NOT vegetarian (sometimes they are even more helpful and state “présure animale”). If it says “coagulant” generally this is non animal in origin (but remember that rennet is a coagulant so to be safe check this list)

Just be aware that if the cheese is labeled AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) or are red label cheeses then they have definately been made using présure animale and are NOT VEGETARIAN.

Paysange cheese - Convient aux végétariens

Paysange cheese - Convient aux végétariens


Happily the lovely people at Paysange are now making cheese which are made without the use of animal rennet and are labeled clearly (on the back of the packet) convient aux végétariens. I am not sure how widely available they are but two of the cheeses this company produce are stocked at our local Ecomarché.


If you know of any other cheeses, or other products sold in France, which are labeled Convient aux végétariens please leave a comment or email us.

Vegetarianandveganfrance.com & 3placedesarbres.com. Vegetarian & Vegan recipes from the kitchen of a vegetarian chambres d’hotes in the heart of France

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Maggie permalink
    April 21, 2009 7:11 pm

    According to a few sites Le Brin seems to be vegetarian.

    http://www.artisanalcheese.com also lists some French veggie cheese but not sure if these are exported outside of France only.

    Would love to hear your opinion on these as visiting France and not be able to eat any cheese is a nightmare.

    • Humpbuckle permalink
      April 22, 2009 9:35 pm

      Hi Maggie, thanks for your comments – will look into these cheeses. As I said in the post, the key is to look in the ingredients and if coagulant is listed it is vegetarian, présure is of animal origin. Where abouts are you headed in France?

  2. Maggie permalink
    April 21, 2009 7:34 pm

    I’ve just remembered you were looking for cheeses marked as being suitable so the one’s above may not be marked for vegetarians just like the ones below. Sorry.

    Abbaye de Belloc – A wonderfully mild, sweet and rich raw ewe’s milk cheese. … Azeitao – Amazing raw ewe’s milk cheese, using thistle rennet

    Boulette d’Avesnes.

    Pave d’Affinois –
    This was one of the first cheeses to be made commercially using ultrafiltration, a method of extracting the solids from liquid milk, which gives a much higher yields of solids than when traditional means are used. It is a soft-white , vegetarian cheese made from cow’s milk. If the cheese is allowed to ripen in a warm, humid cellar for two or three weeks, the interior of the cheese melts and the taste is similar to Brie.

  3. Marcelo Valverde permalink
    August 13, 2010 4:54 pm

    Thank you for those precious informations!

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