WHAT’S COOKING 2019

what is a food made of only three ingredients where the main processing is done by invisible workers; which can be eaten as an appetizer, condiment or dessert; and which is prescribed by doctors to cure ailments …a dairy product that can be eaten by themlactose intolerant Parmigiano –

Parmigiano-Reggiano

Parmesan, Parmigiano-Reggiano is a cheese that can only be made with the exact ingredients, made in defined historical 10,000-sq-km geographical area of Italy so carefully defined that you can make Parmigiano on one side of the small city of Bologna but not the other.

The result of all that labour and legality is – as many cooks, nutritionists and Italians alike will tell you – “A Practically Perfect food.”

Just a short distance the D-Day beaches on France’s northern coast, lies the village of Camembert, of a population of less than 500 it is surrounded by meadowsm , lush green pastures where

It is here that, according to legend, a woman named Marie Harel sheltered a priest who, like many following the French Revolution, was given a choice: swear allegiance to the new Republic or die at the guillotine. The refractory priest elected to flee, escaping to England through Normandy, and encountering Harel along the way. To thank her for her hospitality, the priest ostensibly shared the recipe for brie, a cheese from the region around Paris, which Harel made using local Normande milk and the moulds for washed-rind Livarot, thus inventing a new cheese that, as tradition dictated, she named after the village where she made it: camembert.

Camembert, like many cheeses, is protected by the Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (INAO), a unique French organisation that strictly governs the manufacture of 46 cheeses (and 300 wines) via the French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and equivalent European Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) labels. This institution aims to protect terroir, the French notion that a product is inextricably linked to the place where it is made, from traditional manufacturing processes down to unique microorganisms in the air.

But the governing of camembert has long been more complex than most. In the 19th Century, thanks to the creation of the small wooden box in which the cheese is still sold today and the simultaneous rise of train transport, camembert became quite easy to stack and ship. As a result, it was soon enjoyed by people from all over France. Since this rise in popularity predated AOP cheese regulations by several decades, camembert fans from Anjou to the Pyrenees began making their own versions, inexorably divorcing camembert from its Norman terroir.Today, the word camembert refers not to a specific cheese, but rather to a cheese type made in many countries, but the real home is that tiny, petit village dans le nord de la France Camenbert!

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