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This Cheese Might Be Going Extinct

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Camembert, the soft, creamy cheese, might soon become extinct. To be precise, the cheese that is becoming increasingly scarce is the Camembert de Normandie PDO.

Camembert is the second-most popular cheese in France, with three hundred and sixty million wheels produced annually in the European nation, according to Bloomberg.

But for cheese connoisseurs, looking for a wheel that is made to the exacting specifications is becoming increasingly difficult. Only four of the three hundred and sixty million wheels, or a little more than 1 percent, have true Camembert credentials, according to the Bloomberg report.

To be a certified Camembert, the wheel needs to be stamped with the French Protected Designations of Origin or PDO label. The French label denotes provenance from the specific area in France and indicates that it is made in the authentic, historically accurate way. The cheese is called Camembert de Normandie.

A PDO Camembert de Normandie must be made with raw and unfiltered milk with a fat content of at least 38 percent that comes from cows in France's northern Normandy province.

These cows must only be fed grass and hay from local pastures. The milk must be transported for only a very short distance and also must be hand-ladled in four or more layers into specific molds.

True Camembert can be found in the village of Camembert in Normandy. Three farmstead operators in Normandy - La Ferme du Champsecret, Domaine de Saint Loup, and Fromagerie Durand - are considered the gold standard of Camembert.

However, many modern cheesemakers use pasteurized milk for reasons of safety, compliance with regulations, or convenience. But the French government has ruled that only raw milk can be used for an official PDO Camembert.

Raw milk PDO Camembert is not imported domestically in the U.S. and therefore, only pasteurized versions are available in the country.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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