Yes we can…

paris romance 2005 05 30 20 30 08 Yes we can…

…import raw milk cheese, and we can produce raw milk cheeses too. While in Paris last weekend I had several people come up to me and decry our inability to produce or import cheeses that are made with raw milk. Just to set the record straight I told them that indeed we can produce and import raw milk cheeses, so long as they are aged a minimum of sixty days at a cool temperature, that the regulations have been the same in this country for decades.

So while I was there, I did consume several cheeses crafted from “uncompromised” milk and aged less than sixty days – those types that are not legally available to us. As much as I love visiting France I should not have to go there to have some youngish raw milk cheeses. Quite frankly I don’t appreciate anyone else telling me that I cannot buy a good healthy food of a type that has sustained our ancestors, as well as our French cousins, for millennia. In a country where I can eat a raw oyster if I choose to, why is it that I cannot have a young raw milk cheese?

At least we do have raw cheeses that are aged longer. From France alone we have quite a few in our caves now including two types of Roquefort, two versions of Comté, Tomme de Savoie, Le Moulis, Tourmalet, Beaufort, Raclette, andAbbaye de Tamié.

So what is the attraction to raw milk cheeses? For some it may be that they are feeling like they are doing something illicit. But for many of us it is knowing that these cheeses are a little more “alive” and more of the nutrients have not been eliminated in the heat treatment of pasteurization, along with the flavor and aroma.

A broader discussion of this is presented in Cheese & Wine 201 and in our Master Series.

Spread the curd!
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