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St. Andre, a triple creme buttery cheese, is among the cheeses to be tasted on Saturday.

“How can you govern a country with 258 types of cheese?”–Charles Andre Joseph Marie de Gaulle, President of the French Republic, 1959–1969

It’s not news that the French know their way around fermented milk; the cheeses of France are among the finest in the world. But de Gaulle was off on his count; there are more than 400 French cheeses. I’m not certain anyone knows the exact number. But this Saturday, you can taste at least 20 of them.

There is a free tasting of French cheeses at Minna Gallery (111 Minna St., San Francisco).

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be a pop-up cafe at the gallery featuring wine, art, cooking demonstrations and yummy French cheeses. Five French cheesemakers will be on hand, offerings samples of more than 20 different cheeses. The cheeses will also be available for purchase at prices well below retail. Mimolette, Fourme d’Ambert and St. Andre are among the cheeses to be tasted.

Mimolette, which will be tasted on Saturday, has a concentrated yet mild and nutty flavor.

The event will also include tastes of French wines, passed hors d’oeuvres and a work of cheese art created during the event by an international food sculptor.

For more information about French cheeses, visit the Cheeses of France Marketing Council’s web site here.

Minna Street is located south of Market Street between First and Third Streets. It is a reasonable walk from the Ferry Building, should you want to take the ferry from Larkspur, which I recommend.

If you can’t make it to the tasting, tune in to Mouthful on Sunday evening at 7 p.m., when guests from Cheeses of France will be my guests.

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