On raw milk

While it is almost impossible to find raw milk (ie unpasteurised) cheese in North America, especially for those cheese aged last than 60 days, there are still a few producers making Camembert from raw milk in Normandy. (There is indeed a risk of contamination by listeria, E. Coli and salmonella in unpasteurised products, but the taste and structure of those cheese are clearly above those of pasteurised camemberts.) The risk of contamination is rather restricted by the limited production of those small manufacturers and the sales are mostly limited to Normandy and cheesemongers in the Paris area. I was thus quite surprised to find the other day a raw milk camembert sold in the local supermarket, meaning a higher production volume.

The explanation stands in the lack of A.O.C. label on the box, meaning that the Isigny-Sainte Mère company uses a processing that is not accepted as traditional by the A.O.C. for Camembert… The company is (legitimately) worried about being sued in case of food poisoning and is thus using a filtering device that avoids pasteurisation while removing bacterias. Now, the resulting cheese is very close to the “real” thing and, while I prefer the confidential brands of Carel and Jort, it still tastes very good!

Ps-Now, one may wonder about my sudden passion for Camembert! The reason is that, as a teenager looking for summer jobs, I used to make (raw milk) camemberts for a company (that no longer manufactures them)… Hence a certain lasting interest in the product.

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