Camembert and real Camembert

So they’ve finally agreed. Those fighting fiercely to keep Camembert de Normandie as is, and those, ie the industry, fighting to soften the rules. The latter also wanted to be included in the PDO (AOP) protection. What happened, then? Well, the industry had it their way. More or less. Fabriqué en Normandie will disappear and they can all make Camembert de Normandie AOP. They reached an agreement at a meeting on February 21st this year. But this is not the whole story.

Denne varianten av Camembert forsvinner fra markedet.
This variety, Fabriqué en Normandie, will disappear.

Also read: Camembert vs. Camembert – Who’s winning?

Camembert AOP and real Camembert AOP

Truth is that cheese that up till now has been labelled Fabriqué en Normandy cannot just change label and behave as before as if nothing has changed – other than the label. Now the cheese has to contain at least 30 % milk from Normand cattle. But it may well be pasteurized and the remaining milk can come from any cattle breed and from a wider area than what applies for today’s AOP Camembert. Furthermore; no more use of GMO fodder.
What about today’s Camembert de Normandie? In an way it will become the Grand Cru of Camembert considering it will be labelled Véritable Camembert de Normandie. That means we’ll have Camembert and real Camembert. Both of them PDO cheeses. Now you know what to look for. Even Véritable Camembert de Normandie will have their set of rules tightened. Raw milk of course, share of milk from Normande cattle be increased from half to two thirds. Milk from a defined area as today, but slightly changed and extended. And a lot of other rules and regulations that I am not going tire you with here.

Véritable Camembert – cirkle ended?

Véritable camembert is back. This term was in use up till 1983 when Camembert de Normandie AOP was launched. Then there was no need for labelling the cheese “real Camembert” any more. As you might well understand it has not just been peace and tolerance up through the decades. Are we entering a new era? We’ll find out as the years go by. As with any restructuring there will be ample time for transition, the new arrangements will not take effect until 2021.

Pretty common arrangement this

Livarot as well as Pont l’Évêque can be made by raw or pasteurized milk with in the AOP rules. In Auvergne we have Salers vs. Salers Traditionel, and there are other similar examples. To conclude; the Veritable Camembert de Normandie will be even more real that today’s version and the cheese today known as Fabriqué en Normandie will be more “normand” than it has up til now. This is very common in the world of wines. For instance we have Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru. More or less the same thing. So this this will work out just fine. But remember; Véritable Camembert de Normandi is what counts. From 2021 that is.

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