French Cuisine No Longer the Big Cheese

This week, we learned simultaneously that the world’s best camembert is from Quebec, and that more hamburgers are sold in France than the traditional jambon-beurre ham sandwiches.

If we are to believe the results of a cheese competition organized by local producers in Wisconsin, the world’s best camembert is called Extra, and is made in Saint-Hyacinthe in Quebec. While the news was relayed by news agencies and the media, it has left some with a bad taste in their mouths. How can a camembert be authentic if it is produced so far away from its native Normandy? The award is all the more surprising given that Extra is made using pasteurized milk — sacrilege in France, as this prevents the cheese from "ripening." But let’s be good sports and see this Quebecer cousin as an homage to the original camembert.

However, the very same week, French gastronomy came under attack once again. According to a study by Parisian market research firm Gira Conseil, the French consumed more hamburgers than jambon-beurre (ham and


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