The end to a French cheese tradition?


After years of lobbying, industrial producers are now allowed to make camembert with pasteurised milk. As a result, one of France’s beloved cheeses may be disappearing – for good.

In the heart of Normandy’s Pays d’Auge region, about an hour’s drive inland from the D-Day beaches on France’s northern coast, lies the 200-person village of Camembert, surrounded by white-and-brown cows grazing in lush green pastures.

It is here that, according to legend, a woman named Marie Harel sheltered a priest who, like many following the French Revolution, was given a choice: swear allegiance to the new Republic or die at the guillotine. The refractory priest elected to flee, escaping to England through Normandy, and encountering Harel along the way. To thank her for her hospitality, the priest ostensibly shared the recipe for brie, a cheese from the region around Paris, which Harel made using local Normande milk and the moulds for washed-rind Livarot, thus inventing a new cheese that, as tradition dictated, she named after the village where she made it: camembert.

While the validity of the legend is impossible to confirm, culinary anthropologist Georges Carantino maintains that it is rooted in fact.

“In any case, it evokes that there was indeed a transmission of the techniques from an area like Brie, where this type of cheese is very old, to [Pays d’Auge], where it is a much more recent addition to the landscape.”

No matter how the technique arrived, the Normandy region that had previously produced only washed-rind cheeses like Livarot or Pont l’Evêque suddenly began making bloomy-rinded cheese like brie in the 18th Century, and camembert has been inextricable from Camembert ever since.

Of course, it would be unfair to say that camembert is merely brie made in Normandy. While the cheeses are made with the same Penicillium camemberti spore and thus boast a similar downy white mould, flavour-wise, camembert exists somewhere between the milder, buttery Brie de Meaux and the rich, meaty Brie de Melun. This can be attributed, at least in part, to the fact that while Brie de Meaux is made primarily with rennet fermentation and Brie de Melun with lactic fermentation, camembert is made with a bit of both – a process facilitated by the rich, raw milk of local Normande cows with which camembert should always be made, at least in the mind of a true turophile.

The result is a cheese that is rich, mushroomy and complex in flavour – and unfortunately, it may be disappearing from the nation’s culinary landscape for good.

Camembert, like many cheeses, is protected by the Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (INAO), a unique French organisation that strictly governs the manufacture of 46 cheeses (and 300 wines) via the French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and equivalent European Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) labels. This institution aims to protect terroir, the French notion that a product is inextricably linked to the place where it is made, from traditional manufacturing processes down to unique microorganisms in the air.

But the governing of camembert has long been more complex than most. In the 19th Century, thanks to the creation of the small wooden box in which the cheese is still sold today and the simultaneous rise of train transport, camembert became quite easy to stack and ship. As a result, it was soon enjoyed by people from all over France. Since this rise in popularity predated AOP cheese regulations by several decades, camembert fans from Anjou to the Pyrenees began making their own versions, inexorably divorcing camembert from its Norman terroir.

Today, the word camembert refers not to a specific cheese, but rather to a cheese type made the world over – in fact, it was a Quebecois camembert that was dubbed the best in the category worldwide at this year’s World Championship Cheese Contest in the US state of Wisconsin – a snub that French magazine VSD called ‘stinging’ and ‘shameful’.

Despite the loss of the word, locals did finally earn AOC status for the traditional cheese in 1983, when the INAO developed an official charter, not for ‘camembert’ but for the phrase ‘Camembert de Normandie’. The cheese, it was decided, would be obligatorily made in Normandy, with the raw milk of pastured herds of cows ‘in a process of genetic evolution’ towards the Normande breed (a rule that was modified to specify that, at first, 25%, and then, in 2017, 50% of the herd be made up of Normande cattle).

By this point, however, even Normandy camembert no longer belonged to the small, artisanal producers that had once handmade this cheese throughout the region, ladling it into moulds in five distinct layers, as tradition dictates. Industrial giants such as Lactalis had set up shop and wanted their product to sport the AOP label. The caveat? They wanted to use pasteurised milk. Continue reading “The end to a French cheese tradition?”

Noise Day. The indestructible Jain has shaken the gardens of Palud

She gave everything for her last concert in France. The French artist had the festival-goers sit, jump and sing, chaining his acid pop-electro tracks. The public is conquered.

She arrived alone on the big stage of the Festival of Noise. But the French singer knows how to occupy the space. Dressed in her usual blue jumpsuit, Jain stamps, runs and leaps, bringing the festival-goers into her folly.

“I want to see everyone jumper! “ Repeated the artist, tireless. The public moves and she asks for more. Everyone sits and hands in the air, she proposes to dance like a zombie and launches a competition of “ola”. Jain has fun, in communion with his audience.

His titles, all too rhythmic, are linked: Souldier , Oh Man , Alright , or the mythical Come , on the guitar, on which she does not forget to extend the microphone to some festival-goers well placed (or not) in the first ranks . The singer announces, she wants to turn the gardens into a “giant nightclub. “

After an hour and a quarter of show, she concludes on Makeba , with emotion. After four years of touring, this is the last concert of the electro-pop artist in France, who will continue performances in Japan.

She thanks “the best of the public” , completely under her spell.

“It’s a discovery and we are amazed by all its energy! “ Wonder Nicole and Laurent.

“I had already seen it in concert and today it was even better! She’s sending ! “ Exclaims Patricia. She especially appreciated the exchange with the festival-goers. “We get caught up in the game.”

Jain? It was simply Jain-ial.

Source: Noise Day. The indestructible Jain has shaken the gardens of Palud

Movies at the Louvre

The Louvre and mk2 proposed to revisit eight unforgettable films under a new eye.

[TROISCOLEURS translation Google] Just below the majestic Clock Pavilion and the silent statues that surround it, couples of dancers try their hand at tango and some players improvise a game of ping-pong, while others have decided to go straight to the table. aperitif, a glass of wine and plates in the hand. It is between her royal walls that Isabelle Adjani ran, her hands bloody and her face pale, to escape her destiny in Patrice Chéreau’s La Reine Margot , released in 1994.

And it is in this place full of history and memory film that the Louvre Museum, in partnership with mk2, has chosen to install for a week in its courtyard Carrée ephemeral screen, to offer spectators to see for free at open sky 8 films both popular and demanding. On a canvas 24 meters high, designed as a window to the world where the arid landscapes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade parade , the French campaigns of Faces Villages and the romantic New York of When Harry meets Sally , curious and regulars have rediscovered these cult works in a dreamlike setting.

It is 22h when daylight begins to decline. The dance floor suddenly empties, the sound of boules balls stops and the food truck odors are more distant. As an air mixed with nostalgia fleet forward on the faces of the spectators, who are just coming to see this fourth evening a movie-like declaration of love in the 7 th art: Cinema Paradisoof Giuseppe Tornatore. While Alfredo and Totò’s complicit faces, hidden behind their projection booth, invade the screen on Ennio Morricone’s score, we feel that these images resonate between the columns of the palace like distant and intimate memories in the audience , until this magical sequence of the outdoor cinema-club where the storm breaks out, and which suddenly opens a magnificent mise-en-abyme to the audience.

Because it is the idea of ​​a unifying cinema, able to federate all ages and all sensibilities, which forms the thread of the event, and that we feel even more palpable in the forefront. last night, where The Journey of Chihiro from Hayao Miyazaki is shown. For some, it’s an outdoor reunion with a movie that terrorized and amazed their childhood – like Justine, who saw the film when it was released in 2001 when she was only 10 years old. For others, this nocturnal event has the taste of the first time-like Dana, who discovers with amazement the richness of this initiatory tale about the fears of childhood and the power of imagination. Like the spectators who have lost none of their ingenuity and are still trembling at the sight of the witch of Yubaba and know by heart the mimicry of Sans-Face, the film has not taken a wrinkle. It was perhaps only necessary to see him again in this unreal place and out of time to notice it.

Source: Report: Cinema Cinema Louvre Nightlife – TROISCOULEURS