The French ate more Mozzarella than Camembert in September, preferring Italian cheese to the one so far most popular French table cheese. For the first time, more Italian cheeses were sold than French ones, as the French daily Le Figaro writes, which underlines that ” Italian culinary specialities have never been so appreciated in the world and especially in France.” The paper adds that ” in the land of a thousand cheeses; Mozzarella has just dethroned the sacrosanct Camembert, until now the most popular soft cheese in France. ”
Fabrice Collier, president of the Norman Union of Camembert Producers, said, ”for the first time in France, the sales curve of Camembert, constantly falling by three per cent per year, has fallen below that in sales of mozzarella which registers an annual growth of five per cent.” Since the beginning of the year and up to 11 September, 29,230 tons of Camembert have been sold in France against 33,170 tons of Mozzarella, explains Collier.
The use of these two soft kinds of cheese is not the same, says Collier, calling Camembert ”more a table cheese’ and mozzarella ‘a cooking cheese’. Le Figaro writes, “eat Camembert in restaurants or during more traditional home-cooked meals, while Mozzarella looks good in many easy-to-make and more trendy dishes. ”
The Norman Union of Camembert Producers is worried about the future. “In the Eighties, 180,000 tons of Camembert were produced in France, part of which was exported, double the amount today”, recalls Collier, who says he is “apprehensive about the future of the sector”.
In addition to Mozzarella and Camembert, other popular soft cheese varieties include Ricotta (Italian), Bree (France), Gorgonzola (Italian) and Roquefort (French).