Diet & Nutrition

Public Service Announcement: The world is facing a Camembert crisis

It's a cheese-mergency!

I don’t want to alarm anyone here but we are in the midst of a soft cheese crisis.
Brie-fore you panic – let’s get our facts straight.
Camembert is the second most popular cheese in France and the single best cheese for befriending a bear (Come on, bear… get it?).
Okay no more puns this is serious and they’re a little cheesy.
With the amount of Camembert still gracing the cold section of your local Woolworth's, it’s hard to believe that we’re in crisis.
However, a recent report from Bloomberg has brought to light some alarming information.
Less than 1% of the Camembert readily available outside France is not the real deal – and it’s soon going to become even harder to find.
Three hundred and sixty million wheels of the soft cheesy goodness are produced annually in France BUT, only 4 million of these are worthy of the title of true authentic Camembert.

What is authentic Camembert?

The real deal is stamped with a PDO on the label, indicating the cheese is sourced from a particular region in France and made in what experts consider to be a historically accurate way.
Cheese connoisseurs should be on the lookout for Camembert de Normandie.
The rind of your Camembert should carry a slightly brown twinge, the whiter the rind the more inauthentic your cheese (though honestly, it's probably no less delicious).

Why is Camembert vanishing?

To create authentic Camembert de Normandie, among many other very specific requirements, cheese makers need to use filtered raw milk, with a fat content of at least 38 percent and be produced by cows in the Normandy province.
Blessed are those dedicated cheese makers.
The reason the cheese is becoming harder to find is yet another classic tale of the little guy being crushed by the big cheese makers - who, in 2007, pushed for cheaper and more convenient methods of creating the cheese, like using pasteurised milk instead of raw.
Government officials have since ruled that only raw milk could be utilised when making the cheese- but the damage had been done. People saw they could have a delicious cheese for half the price and once you've seen such greatness, it's hard to go back.
If you want to do your bit to save your second favourite soft cheese, make sure you're supporting those who are doing it the old fashion way, if and where you can.
Because let's face it - a cheap Camembert may be Gouda, but the real deal is Feta.