SAVE OUR CHEESE!

Antonelli's Cheese Shop 1

This post is only tangentially related to gluten-free food, in that it concerns a food mostly gluten-free, but always 100% delicious and necessary to my gluten-free lifestyle. I really, truly love cheese. As I have mentioned in past blog posts, cheese is my favorite food. Cheesecake is my favorite dessert. Finding unique, artisanal cheese to enjoy is one of my favorite foodie past-times. Because of my love affair with cheese, I am sincerely saddened – though not altogether shocked – at the action the FDA is taking to supposedly make our food more safe, but in reality will make our food more uniform and dull. According to a recent post on the blog Cheese Underground, the FDA has moved to stop artisanal cheesemakers from aging their cheese on wooden boards. Cheesemakers note that the process of aging cheese on wooden boards allows for the unique character of cheeses created to be aged on wooden boards. This restriction by the FDA will negatively impact the cheese business in America, notes Wisconsin cheesemaker Chris Roelli: “The very pillar that we built our niche business on is the ability to age our cheese on wood planks, an art that has been practiced in Europe for thousands of years.” Roelli also states that American cheesemakers will now be “at a global disadvantage because the flavor produced by aging on wood can not be duplicated.” The entire article can be found here. I hope this news spreads quickly through the artisanal and specialty food industry, spawning such an uproar that the FDA will have to reverse its stance against the traditional method of aging cheese.

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2 thoughts on “SAVE OUR CHEESE!

  1. I agree. This move against artisan cheese makers by the FDA is bad enough, but I think the larger implication is that if this type of regulation continues, our food selection in the United States will become uniform and boring. The rise of small batch specialty and artisan foods in the past couple of decades, and the rise in retail outlets that carry them (Whole Foods, farmers’ markets, local specialty stores, etc), has enlarged our selection of unique, quality, and healthy foods. If ensuring our food safety means limiting our food choices to the likes of Kraft cheese, Borden milk, and Tyson chicken, I believe most people would gladly trade food safety for food choice.

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