DairyThe history of the dairy begins in 1904 when Jean Faup cancelled his departure from his birthplace in the Pyrénées region of Southwestern France to the United States and decided instead to start producing Camembert in his home village of Oust.

Back then, in many regions, producing Camembert and selling the cheese outside its production area – for example, in Northern Africa where there were many French expats – was a way to grow from farmer to artisanal dairy.  

OldMazucThree generations of the Faup family developed the business till the market suddenly died when Algeria gained its independence. In 1960 the dairy faced the challenge of survival and had to reinvent itself. Jean Faup the third decided to recreate the local cheese made traditionally by shepherds in their summertime mazucs - stone cheesemaking huts in the patois of the Upper Ariège - when taking their herds to high terrain.

But to succeed, Jean had to adapt the tradition to modern demand. The milk was pasteurized, the rind colored with walnut stain to give it an attractive look, and the affinage was reduced to three weeks: the post-war Pyrénées cheese was born!

In 1977, Didier Lemasson - Jean's nephew - took over the dairy and started right away to produce a more traditional cheese with raw milk and a natural rind. His vision was to bring back prestige and recognition to the authentic local cheese.

Didier kept on re-inventing past traditions: in 1984, he developed a pressed curd tomme made of mixed cow and goat milk and in 1988, he launched a pure goat milk pressed tomme. By doing this, he not only revived a cheese tradition that had disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century but he also reinstated goat milk production in order to transform milk from local terroir.

Today, managed by Didier and his daughter Virginie, Fromagerie Jean Faup draws its strength from five generations of observation and experience in the craft claiming strong values​:Faup_Cheeses

 - Bring ancient traditions back to life and preserve them

 - Preserve and enhance the fragile environment

 - Produce a cheese with exceptional qualities

Four Generation Didier Lemasson Sylvie Lemasson
Three Jean Faup & Didier Lemasson Didier Lemasson Virginie Lemasson-Llop

-> Info on the Couseran region
-> Bethmale Review by JANET FLECTHER / San Francisco Chronicles

-> Recipes


Ariège is where old, rural France still exists, hiding from supermarkets and highways in the steep craggy valleys. Approaching the region from Toulouse you suddenly see the blue and white Pyrénées rise on the horizon, and the next thing you know you're in a lush valley following a bubbly river and winding past old Cathar strongholds. Up you go into the sky, then drop into the green valleys full of ferns, hanging moss, sun-sparking streams and crumbling shepherds' cabins surrounded by grazing cows or goats.