Yummy French expression N°17: En faire tout un fromage

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This French idiom is linked to my favourite food : Cheese. En faire tout un fromage 🧀 😋

en faire tout un fromage
En faire tout un fromage

Find out what ‘En faire tout un fromage’ means by watching a video

This is a video from the radio show from Cyril Hanouna a famous French presenter and he and his guests discuss the meaning of this famous French idiom ‘En faire tout un fromage’. Each guest gives a definition, only one is correct. The guests, in the order of which they speak are Valérie, Laurent, Pierre, Alex. Cyril in the end gives the correct definition.

Check out some vocabulary first

en faire tout un fromage vocabulaire
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

These are a few words from the video see if you are able to recognize them :

berger 🐑 = shepherd
Moyen-âge = Middles Ages
fromage 🧀= cheese
un souci = a problem
vient de = comes from
Normandie = Normandy
éleveurs 🐄 = producers
laitier 🥛 = dairy
compliqué = complicated
pénible = painful
lait 🥛 = milk

Here is the video about the meaning of En faire tout un fromage

Don’t worry if you don’t understand it all, I am writing a summary below, watch the video from Europe 1 here : (This will open into a new window, click on the previous tab to come back to this post)

Cyril Hanouna – Les pieds dans le plat – En faire tout un fromage

En faire tout un fromage video summary

This is a summary of what the different guests said in order of appearance, which one do you think is correct ?


C’est une tradition des bergers du moyen-âge, au XIème siècle, ils offraient des fromages quand il y avait un souci, une embrouille, une affaire insurmontable. Ils faisaient un fromage.

It is a tradition of the shepherds of the Middle Ages, in the 11th century, they offered cheese when there was a problem, a confusion, an insurmountable affair. They were making cheese.


C’est une expression qui vient de Normandie. Les éleveurs préparaient du fromage, c’est la chose la plus compliquée qu’il soit donnée de produire. Donc faire tout un fromage, la chose la plus compliquée de faire.

It’s an expression that comes from Normandy. The producers made cheese, it is the most complicated thing that it is possible to produce. So making a cheese, the most complicated thing to do.


 Un fromage est une production complexe et longue. En faire tout un fromage, c’est en faire beaucoup. C’est la longueur, le temps de faire un fromage qui est parodié.

A cheese is a complex and long production. To make a whole lot of cheese is to make a lot of it. It’s the length, the time to make a cheese that is parodied.


C’est pénible de faire un fromage.

It’s painful to make cheese.

What do you think it means ‘En faire tout un fromage’?

Now what do you think it means, is it:

A. Valérie’s version: it is a present to resolve a problem
B. Laurent’s version : It means to do something complicated out of something basic
C. Pierre’s version : It means to do something for a long period of time
D. Alex’s version : It means to do something painful

The solution by Cyril Hanouna of what ‘En faire tout un fromage’ means

The solution is according to cyril Hanouna :

La véritable explication. Elle vient du XX ème siècle. Elle nous vient des laitiers. En partant de pas grand chose, comme du lait, on pouvait produire un produit élaboré. C’est un produit élaboré. Un homme qui avait tendance à faire beaucoup en partant de peu, qu’il pouvait en faire tout un fromage.

The real explanation. It comes from the 20th century. It comes to us from the milkmen. Starting from not much, like milk, you could produce an elaborate product. It is an elaborate product. A man who tended to do a lot from little, that he could make a big deal out of it.

This is Laurent who was right 🥳. Were you right?

What is the equivalent of ‘en faire tout un fromage’ en anglais ?

En faire tout un fromage translation in English
Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

I think the equivalent could be :

To make a meal out of it

En faire tout un fromage


To make a big deal out of it

En faire tout un fromage

En faire tout un fromage example in real life

This is what one could say about this fantastic French idiom :

Arrête avec tes histoires, tu ne vas tout de même pas en faire tout un fromage !

`Stop it with your stories ! you’re not going to make a big deal out of this !

Voilà, this was today’s French idiom in English, I hope you liked it. Click here to find out about the challenge of 50 French idioms in English.

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And I’ll see you next time for more French idioms in English ! 👍🧡

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3 years ago

first time I see this video; so actually, it means that the origin is positive, but somehow became negative thoughout time…interesting!

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