Tag Archives: raw milk cheese

FDA and Health Canada going after raw milk cheeses with much-touted survey?

How about that, Canadians get a voice in American federal decision making. But really we’re a separate country, aren’t we? Click image above to go to this page where you can comment.

Remember a few days ago we wrote about that article from the Ontario Farmer about how the FDA and Health Canada were seeking public input on raw milk policy? Well it seems that what they were really on about was soft raw milk cheeses. And yes, it does seem that that Health Canada is taking their comments via the FDA site (see image above), although no one at Health Canada’s media relations office ever got back to us on it. Continue reading

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Slow Fooder Carlo Petrini supports soft raw milk cheese approval in Australia

Here’s an excerpt from a story in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

Lynne Tietzel says cheesemakers must control production to ensure safety. Photo by Domino Postiglione

“…Slow Food warrior Carlo Petrini has thrown his weight behind the campaign to allow raw milk cheese to be made in Australia.

Here for the Sydney International Food Festival, he urged a relaxation of the tough rules, saying the local industry is being left behind.

The man who defended Rome’s Spanish Steps against the presence of McDonald’s in the 1980s, and founded Slow Food, believes a consumer campaign would result in change. His followers in Australia are drawing up battle plans and promise a campaign to tear up the restrictions.

”We are being left behind by the rest of the planet,” local Slow Food campaign co-ordinator Michael Croft says. Continue reading

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Chill on raw milk cheese in Quebec

Here’s an excerpt from a recent Toronto Star story titled “Cheese Stores Say Quebec Rules Go Whey Too Far”:

Cheesemonger at Montreals Fromagerie Atwater. Toronto Star photo by Andrew Chung

Cheesemonger at Montreal's Fromagerie Atwater. Toronto Star photo by Andrew Chung

“MONTREAL–At the pungent Fromagerie Atwater, one of the best-known cheese shops in Montreal, patrons feast their eyes on a glass display case piled with cheeses.

With the help of the maroon-smocked experts behind the counter, patrons carefully choose their pleasures, with an increasing proportion from Quebec.

But unbeknownst to many, there is a cheese war going on in Quebec.

Since a listeriosis crisis sent Quebec into a frenzy last fall, you could cut the tension between cheesemakers and the provincial regulator with, well, a cheese knife.

Producers say the crisis was overblown, with millions of dollars in cheese thrown out. And the reaction since has been overkill, many add, especially those who use unpasteurized milk, said to make more flavourful cheese. Continue reading

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Cheese wars in France over Camembert

Here’s an excerpt of  a story from Spiegel Online international about a failed attempt to “modernize” a classic raw French cheese by changing to pasteurized milk. This article came to our attention through a comment by Don Wittlinger on The Complete Patient blog.

The village of Camembert is tiny, and represents the ideal image many French still hold of their country. Photo Maurice Weiss/Ostkreis

The village of Camembert is tiny, and represents the ideal image many French still hold of their country. Photo Maurice Weiss/Ostkreis

“By Ullrich Fichtner
It was a typical globalization-era war that pitted tradition against profits. A large cheese factory wanted to change the Camembert recipe and began a dirty fight against small producers. This time, though, tradition emerged victorious.

When Luc Morelon was still convinced that this was a winnable war, he was willing to give interviews in his office on the 30th floor of the Montparnasse Tower, with its view of the Eiffel Tower and of a deceptively peaceful-looking sea of shimmering Parisian rooftops in the morning mist. Wearing a tie with a pattern of little colorful goats on it, Morelon, a heavy-set, white-haired man, sat at his desk facing a laptop filled with data and charts of his company, Lactalis. With 125 plants worldwide, 32,000 employees and €9.6 billion ($12.2 billion) in annual sales, Lactalis is Europe’s largest cheese producer, a global giant and a company that is easy to hate. Continue reading

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Stichelton — British blue cheese made in the original way — with raw milk

New York Times photo by

Stichelton Cheese -- in the raw. New York Times photo by Jonathan Player

Here’s a wonderful story about the re-making of a classic British raw-milk cheese, which came to our attention through Scardello Artisan Cheese in Texas. The point of this is to show how raw milk cheese (and raw milk) is a “class act”. It’s the result of an unusual level of care, craftsmanship and artistry. It’s not a mere “factory food“.

It’s not that we  want to be snobs or elitists here. But why shouldn’t there be truly wonderful and excellent cheeses, like there are great wines, for instance. And just as great wines are not made from standard-issue commodity-grade pasteurized grape juice, neither is great cheese made by taking what in Ontario is officially referred to as “industrial milk” and pasteurizing it first. Don’t we want to be world class? Don’t we want to develop a culture of culinary tourism? We need to wake up to what’s going on the rest of world and move on from our collective trauma over what happened in the 1930s (pasteurization and all that).

Getting back to Stichelton cheese, here’s what Rich (of Scardello) has to say about this rare delicacy:

“We are thrilled to have Stichelton at Scardello (pronounced just like it looks – “stich-l-tn”). In 1989 Stilton makers decided to stop using raw milk to make one of the worlds best blues. Randoph Hodgson teamed up with cheesemaker Joe Schneider to bring raw milk Stilton back. They chose the name Stichelton which was the original name of the town of Stilton. Continue reading

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Artisanal raw-milk cheeses in Quebec

This is from a Globe and Mail story from October 1, 2008 by Sue Riedl about a wonderful artisanal Quebec cheese, Alfred le Fermier, the likes of which we don’t make here in Ontario. So what’s the matter? — are we all a bunch of philistines? Or is it the war on “terroir” claiming another victim? Read on:

“… Alfred is a washed-rind, raw milk cheese that delivers phenomenal flavour. Once you slice into it, a supple, dense paste with small pinholes is revealed. A fragrant, sweet, floral aroma beckons. The flavour base is buttery with sweet, nutty notes and a woodsy taste closer to the edible rind. The rich taste develops over eight months as the wheels are ripened on spruce planks sourced from the family land.
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