PARIS (Reuters) – A row over adjustments to a high quality label for camembert cheese reached the French parliament on Wednesday as supporters of a standard raw-milk recipe distributed samples of the creamy, odorous speciality to lawmakers.
The cheese, which takes its title from a village in Normandy and dates again to the 18th century, is caught in a tussle between lovers of age-old cheesemaking strategies based mostly on uncooked milk and supporters of contemporary dairy practices like pasteurization.
Producers agreed a compromise final yr revising phrases used for the “Camembert de Normandie” protected origin scheme beginning in 2021.
The deal permits industrial producers utilizing pasteurized milk to hitch the standard label system in return for respecting situations like utilizing Normandy breed cows for some milk provide. In the meantime, raw-milk customers will be capable of add a particular point out on their merchandise.
However traditionalists like lawmaker Richard Ramos say the brand new guidelines are a mistake that result in a bland industrial product, reasonably than a cheese with lengthy roots in French gastronomic heritage.
“While you open and style a Camembert you will have the thought of Frenchness,” he mentioned as he left raw-milk cheeses within the letterboxes of his 577 colleagues at France’s Nationwide Meeting, the decrease home of parliament.
Within the heartland of camembert manufacturing, dairy farmer Charles Breant within the Normandy village of Bermonville shared Ramos’ issues in regards to the badge of high quality.
“If pasteurized milk is allowed it would imply the tip of the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) as a result of 97 or 98 % of camembert cheeses will probably be pasteurized and so will lose its reference to the land,” he mentioned.
Lactalis, the world’s largest dairy firm and a daily goal for critics of the brand new scheme, mentioned in an announcement Ramos’s initiative was deceptive and failed to indicate Lactalis was supporting camembert each via uncooked and pasteurized milk.
Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume advised lawmakers he supported the revamped high quality scheme, which he mentioned was “not a Computer virus for industrial corporations”.
“Uncooked-milk camembert isn’t in peril,” he mentioned.
Reporting by Lucien Libert, writing by Gus Trompiz; Modifying by Leigh Thomas and Peter Graff