Bel Paese and fontina from Italy,Port Salut from France, and American muenster and brick cheeses are the best known of a large group of cheeses that range from bland and buttery when young to more earthy and full-flavored when older. They are often used as dessert cheeses and as hors d'oeuvres.
France produces many washed-rind soft cheeses with orange rinds and with flavors that range from mild to pungent. Among the better-known ones are Pont l'Eveque and Livarot from Normandy and Muenster from Alsace. (These cheeses might also be categorized as soft-ripened cheeses, below, although they may not become as soft and runny as the washed-rind cheeses discussed in the next section.)
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