War of smelly cheese

Am hoping a subtitled version of the The War of Smelly Cheese documentary La guerre des fromages qui puent is released online. Directed by Gilles Capelle via @GalaxieComm, it is said to explore the export of ancient French secrets of manufacture to America, and the investment in North America to meet insatiable demand. Sadly, in France, the situation is reversed, with raw milk cheeses representing only a tenth of national output.

Interestingly, the official inauguration of the North American Chapter of the International Guilde de Fromagers recently took place, joining Chapters alongside nations such as Italy, Spain the UK and France. Seems consumers and professionals alike are responding to a sanitised culture that has invaded their microbial ecosystems. Are we witnessing a migration and/or demise of these?

Teaser trailer below:


About Curd Nerd

Put it in my belly, especially if it's smelly.
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3 Responses to War of smelly cheese

  1. As a Belgian I have a good understanding of the French language. This video doesn’t surprise me at all. It confirms what I am already saying a few years. In 2008 I wrote (see http://abitor2.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/een-saksische-stilton-bastaard/): “The United States of America … A country that in recent years has discovered authentic “taste and aroma” and starts moving to play a significant role in the world’s landscape of cheese in the near future.”
    The industrialization of cheese which has resulted in a lot of acquisitions, leaving only a few big players on the market which dictate the cheese on our plate, is not only a phenomenon in France but in all EU traditional cheese countries. Even Belgium 😉
    The EU policy has indirectly(?) helped to increase the impact of the cheese industry on the market by her excessive food hygiene regulations which let dissappear a lot of small artisan cheese producers over the years.
    Now we can eat sterile but tasteless cheese as much as we want at a cheap price. But in a standardized reality arises the need and the aim for diversity again.
    That ‘s the reason why the USA is now experiencing a rebirth of taste and flavor first. You got the entry of the food industry before us and just as you we will turn back to the world of real cheese.
    The bigger the big cheese companies become, the more place is left for niche products with distinctiveness.
    The future for artisanal cheese looks bright … all over the world.

  2. Curd Nerd says:

    As a kiwi I don’t understand any French at all. 🙂 Agree, people in the United States and the world over live in a Pasteurian world. Food hygiene regulations outside of the EU are even more stringent, with EU regulations a veritable dream world here in NZ. If Post-Pasteurians are up for jumping through all those hoops to achieve a sustainable balance of family and work life selling artisanal cheese, that future is bright indeed.

    My interest in this documentary is the migration/export of these traditions, the new relationships and traditions developing from a source of origin that is in danger of shipwreck.

  3. As a french fried potato I can translate your last paragraph but it eludes me what kind of answers you are really looking for. My roots are lying in the source of origin you are talking about, maybe I can offer some help 😉 I started a goat dairy in 1983 , sold it in 2006 to what’s now the biggest goat cheese factory in Belgium – part of Eurial International (world player in the cheese business, treating 900 million liters of milk a year in its 10 factories in France, 1 in Spain and 1 in Belgium).
    They still make one of the products I developed myself, but are using ultrafiltration in the process to get a better yield, neglecting the fact that it results in a tasteless product. The market of cheese lovers is crying for distinctive cheeses and now after 5 years of inactivity I have taken the decision to start over again. As soon as I find a suitable location I will produce niche products again and support farmers to get in artisanal cheese production and help them by ripening their cheese in a professional affinage centre I am starting up.
    Yes, the source of origin is in danger of shipwreck, but from the shore small lifeboats are sailing out for an historical rescue.

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