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Don't panic, but the world is experiencing a shortage of Camembert


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We’ve got some shocking news: the likelihood is the Camembert you've been indulging in probably isn't real Camembert.

The majority of the wheels of cheese on supermarket shelves which claim to be Camembert are in actual fact fraudulent cheeses.

Well, sort of.

You see, the only true Camembert is called Camembert de Normandie. This type is the only wheel that holds a French Protected Designations of Origin label, because - unlike other so-called Camemberts - it’s the only type that's made in the traditional way.

While there are 360 million wheels of 'Camembert' made in France each year only FOUR million hold this official label. This is because most are not made according to the traditional method which involves using raw unfiltered milk from grass fed Normandy cows.

The standards needed to receive the label are so strict that the grass the cows eat must be local and the milk hand ladelled,  or the cheese won't receive its official Camembert credentials. 

It's this strictness which has been attributed to a growing shortage of historically accurate Camembert, as more and more producers cut corners to keep costs down and profits high. 

According to historians Camembert was first invented in 1791 by Marie Harel, who adapted a recipe given to her by a priest. Since then cheese connoisseurs have fought to ensure that only wheels made exactly to the original recipe and method are given official certification.

In 2007 some Camembert producers caused an uproar when they tried to get the law changed so that Camemberts made in Normandy with pasteurised milk - rather than raw milk - could receive the FPDO label.

This cheesed off a lot of people passionate about protecting the history and tradition of Camembert, and after a year long 'cheese war' the French government ultimately ruled against any change.

The French are famous for cheese and Camembert is one of the most popular cheeses in the world. If you want a taste of the real deal though, a trip to Normandy might just be your best bet. 

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