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John Talbott

French Cheese: the newest brouhaha; mass vs art

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The IHT today had a article by Matthew Saltmarsh entitled 400 Cheeses: Are they losing their flavor? which made statements like ''Raw milk is the battlefield," attributed to Pierre Boisard, a sociologist who is author of "Camembert: A National Myth" and ''The big worry is whether we will be able to preserve what we have inherited," said by none other than Philippe Alléosse and "It is a silly debate," said by Luc Morelon, director of communications at Lactalis, who also stated that "We never wanted to kill small producers; they have the capacity to kill themselves."

Having just had a sheep tomme and aged Conté from Quatrehommes, while passing up the fare at my Monoprix, I have no complaints but it's interesting that this has reached the international stage.


John Talbott

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(...) "It is a silly debate," said by Luc Morelon, director of communications at Lactalis, who also stated that "We never wanted to kill small producers; they have the capacity to kill themselves."

I think part of the interview is missing, precisely the end of the sentence: "And we're too happy to hand them the rope with the knot already tied on." Sloppy journalism...

(Besides, it is just me or is the photo at the head of the article really kind of creepy?)


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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The photo is creepy!

I would hate to lose the cheeses produced in the traditional way. IMHO any side by side taste comparison of 'industrial' cheese and its raw milk small producer counterpart ends with the small guy winning.

I'd like to see the independent producers get together for marketing campaigns. The young public, I think, needs to be made aware of the differences. I don't think it would be too hard to make raw milk cheese the cool in thing.

We do have a local ray of hope. What started as a commune making goats cheese has now expanded to a sizable operation still making goats cheese most unpasteurized and mostly by traditional methods. They're called Le Pic.

By the way another bit of sloppy research in the article. The Uk now has more varieties of cheese than France, some 600+ at last count.

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The Uk now has more varieties of cheese than France, some 600+ at last count.

Some of them are very good indeed, but several years' experience as a judge for the World Cheese Awards has revealed that this number is padded out with a large number of processed cheeses with a multitude of artificial and incompatible flavors. The simple arithmetic can be as misleading as, say, the number of TV channels you can pick up with a satelite dish.

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

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The Uk now has more varieties of cheese than France, some 600+ at last count.

Some of them are very good indeed, but several years' experience as a judge for the World Cheese Awards has revealed that this number is padded out with a large number of processed cheeses with a multitude of artificial and incompatible flavors. The simple arithmetic can be as misleading as, say, the number of TV channels you can pick up with a satelite dish.

John

I agree. I don't know how the number of "edible" cheeses might compare. Roughly equal. perhaps. Very subjective in any case.

English cheese makers seem to have a penchant for sticking all kinds of IMHO inappropriate ingredients into perfectly good cheeses. Can't figure out why. Too bad Patrick Rance is no longer around.

My point really was that the journalism in the article was pretty sloppy.

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