Prince Charles declares that future of Europe rests in the hands of French cheese makers


#1

I agree, but it is ripe for a Monty Python parody all the same:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/dec/01/european-civilisation-in-hands-of-french-cheesemakers-says-prince-charles


(John Hartley) #2

It’s an interesting bit of headline writing by the Guardian - but one that’s inaccurate. If you read the article, Charlie Windsor actually says nothing of the sort.

What he actually praises are the people who make craft cheeses - not just French ones, although he mentions three French ones, perhaps unsurprisingly as he was in France. It’s something he should know about - the UK now makes a larger and more diverse range of craft cheeses than France.

By the by, the company that made an organic Cheddar for Charlie’s own “Duchy Originals” range went out of business in 2013 - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2384293/Prince-Charless-cheese-maker-goes-business-blames-supermarkets-undercutting-prices.html


#3

Yes, Charles’s remarks about how the “whole magnificent edifice of European civilisation rests on the inherited genius and craftsmanship of the people who make” cheese was both a bit more qualified and more generalised.

Charles is not alone in underplaying the glories of UK cheese and dairy products, although agree one can understand why he sang about French cheese in particular standing on French soil. But “Foodies” headed for the UK usually appear under informed about what cheese might worth looking for and sampling while there.

Actually, his peroration reminded me of the British sausage rallying cry from “Yes, Minister”, so maybe someday he’ll do the same for UK dairy products.


#4

It’s essential for the artisan craft cheese to survie, yes it’s part of the important European culture. Unfortunately many old artisan cheese maker in France couldn’t find any younger people to continue the trade, many are disappearing fast.

The French artisans cheese maker tried hard to resist the corporate companies and the European health over strict sanity rules. Years ago, I post an article about French artisan camembert is dead in egullet: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/101919-camembert-is-dead/

The article in the orignal link is here: http://madame.lefigaro.fr/art-de-vivre/croque-notes-de-francois-simon-cest-camembert-quon-assassine-100407-8314


#5

Italy has the same problem, and a lot of the Slow Food movement and the development of Eataly was specifically aimed at providing support for artisan cheese makers, especially in Piemonte (where both originated and which produces a lot of aged cheese).


#6

I didn’t know Eataly’s aim is to trying to save artisans. I know that they are hugely successful and they are like huge eating malls. (I haven’t been to 1 yet, and is waiting for them to open in Paris in 2018)


#7

(lagatta à montréal) #8

That’s sad. I’ve bought that cheddar - Probably the Duchy brand gave it a broader market.


(John Hartley) #9

Possibly not. IIRC, Denhay Cheddar used to be available in a number of supermarkets. Actually as did Duchy Originals products. There was then a deal between Duchy Originals and Waitrose (supermarket) that Waitrose would have exclusive rights to sell Duchy products, so it may well be that Denhay had a narrow market (although perhaps a better marketed one)


(lagatta à montréal) #10

I didn’t buy it in the UK though. At first, the Duchy brand did provide a more international market for some good British producers.