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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sample Fine French Cheese Online

The Russian Internet is full of cheesy web sites, but this one goes above and beyond the others.

Calling itself the Magical World of French Cheeses, cheese.hobby.ru offers a "virtual tour of France in search of real cheese." Accordingly, the site is speckled throughout with verse in both French and Russian.

The virtual tour begins with some facts about cheese, including the origin of the Russian word cyr, which comes from ancient Greek. Other interesting facts include the following: The average Frenchman eats 22.8 kilograms of cheese a year, and although there are over 400 different kinds of French cheese, only 40 are registered as trademarks.

The section Varieties of French Cheese divides them into categories based on the type of milk used and how the cheese is prepared. There are pictures of more typical sorts from the main groups: cow's milk, goat's milk and sheep's milk.

New cheeses will continue to be spring up, the site says, and "every cheese has its own history, its own life and its own character."

The French have their own ways of eating different cheeses -- and woe to the man who breaks the cardinal rules of cheese eating. Most varieties should be accompanied with a certain wine, which is almost always from the region where the cheese itself was made.

Besides being a basic part of a well-balanced French lunch or dinner, cheese is often served before dessert. The diners select the cheese they find pleasing, then break off a piece using a special cheese knife.

The site recommends cutting a piece of cheese from the middle outward for two reasons: to avoid ruining the cheese for other guests and because the taste of the cheese varies from the outside to inside.

The site also poses the important question: "Can Russians Make Cheese?" The answer is yes, and a recipe for homemade Edam appears in the Cheese of the Month section.