Gallic gastronomic pride has taken a humiliating knock after it emerged on Thursday that Italy’s mozzarella has dethroned camembert as France’s cheese of choice.
Famed for its circular form, gooey interior and pungent smell, camembert, which is made from cow’s milk, was long France’s favourite fromage in a country with far more types of cheese than there are days in the year.
But according to the Norman union of camembert producers, SNFC, since the start of the year, some 29,230 tons of camembert have been sold in France compared to 33,170 tons of mozzarella.
“For the first time in France, the curve of camembert sales, which has been dropping regularly by three per cent per year, has fallen below that of mozzarella sales, which for its part has seen an annual rise of five per cent,” according to SNFC president Fabrice Collier.
Speaking to Le Figaro, he said that while the two cheeses were not generally consumed in the same way – camembert is more for the “cheese platter” while mozzarella is used for “cooking” – the fact that a French cheese had lost the top spot to a foreign interloper was a source of “particular concern for the sector”.