Stilton or Bleu d’Auvergne? Cheddar or mimolette? The debate found itself suddenly reignited across the Channel this week with a claim by Edward Hancock, founder of online store Cheesegeek, that the UK now produces over 1,000 different varieties of artisan cheese. That’s double the 550 “miserable” cheeses recognized for France, according to the Daily Express.
Widely relayed by the British press, the information could point to the end of “the hegemony of France” in the field of artisanal cheese, reports the very serious Times Tuesday May 10. A reversal that the daily attributes to “a craze for artisanal cheese making that triggered a wave of creativity on this side of the Channel”.
A few days later, the Daily Telegraph went further by titling: “Sorry, the French, but the British are better than you in the kitchen”, reflection tracking : “A victory that is all the sweeter for having taken the time to come. Hundreds of years to be precise.”
Because, for this London journalist, the tasting of a sparkling wine from Kent has removed the last doubt on the fact that the United Kingdom no longer had to hide for its gastronomy. And especially not behind France, which has let its culinary culture be trampled by the proliferation of fast foods on its territory in recent years. In the UK, meanwhile:
“Today we are witnessing a proliferation of independent butchers and caterers, the emergence of passionate producers, the best restaurateurs in the world and overall an extremely diverse culinary scene. With lots of cheese. That’s wonderful !”