Fromagerie with Illegal Raw-Milk Cheese (… illegal in the US)

Today, the class visited a fromagerie for a cheese tasting; this was the first time I have ever done anything of the sort. Because of this, the cheeses we had were very different from what I typically eat (often mozzarella in Korean cuisine), but I could definitely appreciate the unique flavor profiles. I learned that cow, goat, and sheep cheeses are popular with 8 further categorizations based on how it is processed. 

Adway and I prepare our palates to taste some flavorful cheese.

During the visit, we divided into groups in competition with each other to play cheese-related games for points. Two of the games involved guessing the identity of different cheeses, and I was impressed when one of the girls in the class, Kennedy, was able to identify two pieces of cheese to both be camembert (one was pasteurized, one was unpasteurized).

Our “guide” explained to us that the pasteurization of milk plays a large role in the final taste of the cheese due to different microorganisms (namely bacteria) that can be in raw-milk cheeses. After the visit, I looked up why the US doesn’t have more varieties of this cheese available, and it turns out that the FDA regulates pasteurization to prevent harmful bacteria such as “listeria, salmonella, E. coli.” 

{Not counted in word count, external source}

Cheese made with unpasteurized (raw) milk can’t be sold in the USA unless it has been aged for at least 60 days. This is regulated by​ The Food and Drug Administration. After 60 days, the acids and salts in raw-milk cheese and the aging process are believed to naturally prevent listeria, salmonella, E. coli and other harmful types of bacteria from growing.

The Spruce Eats:

Five different kinds of cheese that were available for tasting (paired with a mild wine). My favorite was cheese #3, but unfortunately, I already forgot the name.

I felt that this reflected a difference in the US and French cultures; despite the former being “more free” than the latter (according to multiple different indices), it would not be possible to experience raw-milk cheeses in the US. However, because I have never been to a cheese-tasting in the US, I cannot speak much about whether the experience would be much different from today. I have been struggling with figuring out what to eat for meals while we are here in Paris, and this visit has inspired me to try buying cheese to have with a baguette from a local boulangerie.

The unpasteurized cheese was certainly much more pungent with a sharper flavor profile–our guide insisted that we should try to consume more of this variety. Personally, I will be sticking with more familiar cheddar cheeses. I must admit I am content with the pasteurized cheese back home. In the context of our NBB 402W class, we have just discussed a study that shows cheese might decrease stress response behaviors in rats. Unfortunately, the rats did not have the luxury of trying french raw milk cheese, but I am curious as to whether this would affect the palatability of the cheese–perhaps the rats would have a more refined taste than me!


Study hyperlinked above, link provided again here:


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