What Is Boursin Cheese?

Updated November 21, 2016

Boursin cheese has been enjoyed by cheese lovers and party goers for decades because of its smooth, creamy texture and flavour, making it ideal for spreading on crackers or toast slices. While many enjoy eating Boursin cheese, most people do not know the full story behind what is Boursin cheese, including its rich history, flavour options and its versatility in many different types of dishes.


Like many of the world's favourite cheeses, Boursin cheese hails from France. While it is now enjoyed in more than 30 countries, it still enjoys its greatest popularity in its birth nation. Boursin cheese was first created by Francois Boursin in 1957 in Normandy. The inspiration for Boursin cheese was a traditional French dish of plain fresh cheese served with a mixture of chopped herbs that guests could mix as they pleased.


Boursin is a cow's milk cheese off-white or yellowish in colour, with a soft, creamy texture. The original Boursin cheese was buttery and sweet in flavour, but it now is produced in several different savoury flavours, all thought to add to, but not detract from, the cheese's natural taste. When prepared for sale, Boursin cheese is formed into cylindrical shapes and wrapped in foil. Many consumers are confused by the distinction between Boursin and Gournay. "All natural Gournay cheese" is simply a way of identifying a package of cheese as authentic Boursin. Gournay was the name Francois Boursin gave his new cheese when asked to declare its origin to customs officials. If a package of Boursin does not include the "All natural Gournay cheese" distinction, then it is not true Boursin.


Today, Boursin cheese is available in five flavours: Garlic & Fine Herbs, Pepper, Shallot & Chive, Light Garlic & Fine Herbs, and Garlic & Roasted Red Pepper. The original Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs is made simply from milk, cream, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and chives and is still the most popular of the Boursin flavours. Boursin Light has been a popular, welcome addition to the Boursin cheese family, with 78 per cent less fat and 64 per cent less calories than the standard versions.


Boursin cheese makes a wonderful addition to any type of gathering or just as a simple snack, when stored and served correctly. After purchasing, Boursin cheese should be stored in a temperature-stabilised drawer in the refrigerator and always wrapped in its original foil packaging after each use. While Boursin can be added to many recipes, if you choose to serve it as a hors d'oeuvre, it should first be brought to room temperature. Generally removing the cheese from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving will accomplish the desired serving temperature. Boursin cheese should be cut into wedges like a pie when served.


Boursin cheese is considered a speciality cheese. While it might be hard to find at a standard grocery store, it should be easy to locate at any grocery or gourmet store with a speciality cheese counter. The official Boursin website,, offers a store locater based on zip code to help you find a Boursin retailer near you.

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