Saturday, 13 January 2018

Foreign Cheese.


                                 

I have mentioned before that this cheese, above, is just about the only representative of the British dairy industry that one is likely to find in any French supermarket.

I have only recently discovered why!

Back in 2005 The enormous French 'Lactalis Group' bought A McLelland & Son, the Scottish makers of 'Seriously Strong'. So, in effect it's now a French cheese, but made in Scotland (I presume).

The French are so protective of their cheeses, that it was almost obvious that some jiggery-pokery had taken place over 'Seriously Strong'.

                           Résultat de recherche d'images pour "President cheeses"

The Lactalis group make all your favourite 'President' Camembert and Brie cheeses; in fact they make almost every French cheese that you are likely to find in any normal (non-deli) shop.

That picture on your cheese wrapper of an attractive 'dairy maid' making cheese in her cosy farm cottage, should in fact show a huge factory. Such is life.



33 comments:

  1. Thanks Cro. I shall check my cheese labels carefully in future. We have cheddar but I never thought to look further than the picture! ;-)

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    1. It doesn't make the cheese any less edible, make it makes one understand the word 'monopoly' a bit more clearly.

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  2. Lactalis is in the bad books big time now selling baby milk with salmonella and the latest was that France hasn't taken it off their supermarket shelves.
    I think we get the president brand here. Mostly the cheeses we buy here are from a head of cheese and Greek.

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    1. Baby milk with Salmonella sounds dreadful! I hadn't heard about it. Years ago there was a similar scandal about eggs.

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  3. I am not with you. It is a big world out there of monopolies and takeovers and who-owns-who and factories on big scales for big scale production. What did you expect, a girl and a churn and a strip of muslin?

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    1. No, I expected McLelland & Son's 'Made in Scotland' cheese to be Scottish owned.

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    2. I wouldn't consider it a French cheese made in Scotland personally. I would consider it a Scottish cheese made in Scotland in a factory with a French owner.

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    3. Give them time. It wouldn't surprise me if they simply keep the name and graphics, and begin to make it over here!

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    4. Well France has more milk than the UK so very likely.

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  4. I live ten miles from the Wensleydale Creamery where all Wensleydale cheese is made. They are now a huge organisation after a management buy out some years ago. I do hope they remain so, although dare I say it is not my favourite cheese apart from their Kit Calvert variety which is more to my liking.

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    1. Dare I say it, but I've always found Wensleydale rather 'ordinary'. A certain plasticine character made it popular.

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    2. I love Wensleydale cheese but I am a bit biased; Kit Calvert was an old chum of my step-father.

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  5. I buy the Seriously Strong Cheddar as a cut off the block wrapped in cellophane (bad for cheese), it is shop labled as Origine Angleterre on it and 2/3 of the price of other cheddars here in our ElC. I don't think that there is a McClelland or dairymaid in sight! Tastes OK to me.
    Poor old Lactalis.
    I understand that a lot of British people buy their electricity from EdF, suspect most of that does not come from France.

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    1. I rather like the 'Seriously Strong'. It's certainly better than most Cantal.

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    2. pity about the Origine Angleterre....

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    3. but even M&S is now calling Scots Whisky "British Whiskey"..the English and Welsh Whiskies get their correct appelation!

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  6. Looking forward to choosing cheese in the Hungry Guest shop in Petworth later today. Arguably the best place to buy cheese in the south-east. I don't eat much cheese but when I do it is the real thing - plastic supermarket cheese is not nice.

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    1. The one 'Industrial' cheese I eat a lot is St Agur. Wonderful flavour; I forgive them everything.

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  7. I buy sometimes "seriously strong" cheddar in a little deli called Broken English here in Berlin. The lady is from Scotland and says the cheddar is produced in Scotland. I love this cheddar with good bread or even on a pasta meal.

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    1. Yes, it's good mature cheese. I tend to eat it with fellow Scottish Oatcakes.

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  8. All so common in advertising, that is to personalise and localise, when we all know it just a mass produced product, no matter how good or not so good it is.

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    1. Their Feta no doubt has a picture of a Greek island, and Camembert of Normandy Cows. So, shouldn't Scottish Cheddar have a picture of a kilted farmer in Somerset?

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  9. If you want real Cheddar.... go to Auchan.... I get Wyke Farms “Ivy’s Special Recipe “ from there.... matured 15+ months.

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    1. We don't have any Auchan around here. Luckily my son brings an annual supply of good stuff from Waitrose.

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    2. Cro, you were remarking that cheddar doesn’t come under any brand protection.... they tried!! But the Court of Appeal dismissed the case as they felt that the “Cheddar” name was now a worldwide brand.... but dictated that the country of origin must be clearly shown.
      That is part of the reason why companies like Wykes, Quickes and Wooky Hole are so protective of, and promote so heavily, their county of origin over and above their country!!
      I hadn’t noticed before that Auchan sell Wyke Farms Cheddar as a “Cheddar fermier”... which is very nice to see... our local village store also sells Wyke cheddar.... but the less than 9months mild.... but perfect for cooking.
      Our market “cheeseman” also sells obscure British cheese... at a price... so for Christmas we also had some Shropshire Blue!! Just a smidgen....at 44€ a kilo!!

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  10. If the French cut-up rough after Brexit we need not worry. Us Brits now make more provincial cheeses than they do. You would still be able to get your Scottish, French 'Cheddar' - unless we do what the French do and slap a terroir restriction on the use of the name 'Cheddar'. It would thereafter just be called, 'Cheese'.

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    1. As is all Sussex Cheese.... just called Cheese. Why doesn't Cheddar have an OAC on the name? If it was in France it would be protected 100%.

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    2. Supermarkets have no respect for dairy farmers here, and they have no lobby to defend them. I hate seeing New Zealand 'cheddar' on our shelves. I don't mind buying French cheese from France, Italian cheese from Italy or even American cheese from the US, but I live very close to Cheddar and feel territorial about it.

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    3. Supermarkets have no respect for any farmers.

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    4. And countries have little respect for boundaries.

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  11. Cheddar from Scotland is never going to be the "real thing" anyway. My observation is that real artisanal cheddar is almost impossible to get, even if you live near Cheddar. It's a technique that has escaped into the big wild world and most hard cheeses in the anglo world are cheddared, and if they are sold in the supermarket, chemically aged. I didn't realise Lactalis owned the Seriously Strong brand though. They have their tentacles everywhere, along with their Italian equivalent, Parmalat. However, as you say, it's perfectly edible and not a bad price. I enjoy a lump every now and then myself.

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    1. Susan, see my last reply to Cro on my comment above.... because I’m violently allergic to one of the chemicals used to “speed-mature” cheese... especially Cheddar, I have become a bit of a cheddar-nerd!!
      Quickes is my altimeter favourite, (that should read ‘all time’.... thank you Apple!!) It is wonderfully nutty!!

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  12. I have to say that Seriously Strong and Vintage Cheddars figure a lot in my house (along with many many other cheeses I might add). Not only do I like to eat it as it is but it makes the best cheese sauces etc.

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