Faup CheeseFaup map
In 1904, Jean Faup started producing Camembert in the village of Oust in the Pyrénées region of Southwestern France to export to the French colonies of northern Africa. For three generations the Faup family developed this business until the market suddenly died when the colonies gained their independence. In 1960 the dairy had to reinvent itself.

Faup TerroirJean Faup, the third, decided to resurrect the local cheese made traditionally by shepherds in their summertime mazucs – stone cheesemaking huts in the patois of the Upper Ariège – when they took their heards to graze at higher elevations. Jean modernized the recipe by pasteurizing the milk, painting the rind and aging it only three weeks: the post-war Pyrénées cheese was born!

In 1977, Didier Lemasson, Jean’s nephew, took over the dairy and returned to a more tradional cheese, produced with raw milk and a natural, washed rind. His vision was to revitalize the local cheese known as Bethmale.

Didier continued to innovate: in 1984, he developed a pressed-curd tomme made of mixed cow and goat milk.
In 1988, he launched a pure goat milk pressed tome which reinstated goat milk production in the area.

Today, managed by Didier and his daughter Virginie, Fromagerie Jean Faup draws its strength from five generations of experience and craft, with a mission to:

  • Bring ancient traditions back to life and preserve them
  • Preserve and enhance the fragile environment
  • Produce a cheese with exceptional qualities




Bethmale is the most typical cheese from the Eastern Pyrénées, originating in “Pays de Couseran” in the Ariège close to the Spanish border. The cheese derives its name from the Bethmale Valley where it was originally produced.

The taste is truly unique: a zingy tingle on the tongue, but with a mellow and nutty overall sensation. Aromas are pleasantly pungent, smelling of damp cellar and earth. Flavors are mild, very rich, milky and buttery with notes of grass, wood and mushrooms. The rind is washed, giving it a rosy glow. Since the cheese is not pressed, curds are loosely knit together; the semi-soft supple interior is dotted with tiny pinholes. The paste varies from ivory-white to buttery-yellow depending on the milk and the season.

Bethmale Goat


Bethmale made from cows’ milk is rich and creamy; Bethmale made from goats’ milk has a lovely floral flavor, with sweet notes of hazelnut. Though it was rarely seen outside the region for many years, it is now available in the US.


Bethmale is a fantastic cheese for a cheeseboard: it pairs easily with wines of the Languedoc and Sherry as well as many beers. The slightly pungeant flavor pairs perfectly with sweet accompaniments like fig jam. Some even say that it was a favorite of Louis VI when he passed through the region in the 12th century.
Bethmale mixed milk