Friday, May 30, 2008

Le grand fromage

There's a row going on in France about Camembert. Real Camembert is made with unpasteurised milk and has an Appellation d'Origine Controlee label which enables it to be sold at a significant premium to the supermarket price of the so-called "industrial" Camemberts made with unpasteurised milk and the industrial makers are lobbying the government's food certification body to extend its AOC label to the pasteurised form as well. This is causing outrage amongst smaller Normandy cheesemakers who say, "Pasteurised milk is dead milk and you don't make a good Camembert with dead milk." I wonder what Mopsa would make of that. History doesn't relate if Louis Pasteur was a Camembert fan.


Blogger Eurodog said...

Nothing like the lait cru variety and not just in Camembert.

9:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up on raw, unpasteurised milk and to coin a phrase 'It didn't do me no 'arm, guvnor..'

10:00 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

AHA! I know the answer to that! He once stated that his process was specifically for milk, as he thought that cheese made with unpasteurised milk would taste like cardboard. I think the French cheese producers even ran ads to this effect some years ago.Mark you, De Gaulles famous remark about how can you govern a country that has 392 cheeses ( I think) could apply to UK - only morseso. I think I read somewhere that we have over 5000 in the UK

1:39 pm  
Blogger kinglear said...

I've just remembered an occassion in Poitiers when an excellent meal was topped off with the broad-bosomed-red-lipsticked Madame-the-owner offering us some local cheese which was " veritable" and " vrai" and made " a la ferme".
A rather grubby pot was produced, and two small round pieces of cheese were produced, dripping in olive oil.
I cut into the first one and lifted it towards my mouth, and my friend sitting opposite grabbed my arm.
There was an enormous maggot squirming where I had cut it in two.
On remonstarting with Madame, there was no suggestion of a discount or a free meal - after all as she said" But I told you, it is real cheese!" ( and it was rather delicious without the maggot)

1:44 pm  
Blogger Mopsa said...

I think you meant that "industrial" Camemberts are made with pasteurised milk. And as to what I think: this obsession with pasteurising/sterilising everything (from half the non food items in our kitchens to our food) is madness. Don't eat it if you are in a vulnerable position - very young, very old, pregnant etc, but for the rest of us,I want to be able to eat fabulous farmhouse cheeses made on a small scale with raw milk from a few cows. Life cannot be sterilised. Actually, Camembert is one of my least favourite cheeses, but I'll travel distances for a great Gorgonzola or Beenleigh Blue. I'm going on a hard cheese course in a few weeks and will ask the cheesemaker what she thinks.

9:19 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

I doubt Mopsa would be so picky, but an amusing post.

10:16 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hi all - I'm glad you all agree that nothing should get between you and a good cheese.

7:48 am  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

That would, indeed, be interesting to know.

2:56 pm  

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