Cheese lovers in turmoil: Camembert threatened with extinction

Dramatic
Camembert threatened with extinction

© Jacek Chabraszewski / Adobe Stock

It is shocking news: Camembert seems to be threatened with extinction. Can he still be saved?

It’s news that’s sending cheese lovers into a frenzy. The Camembert is on everyone’s lips right now. However, with a bland aftertaste. Because its expiration date may be approaching. It is therefore questionable whether it will still be at home in the refrigerated section of discounters in the future. But what threatens the popular mold cheese?

Mold at the end

You could say it’s evolution. And people with their aesthetic demands on moldy cheese. Because that’s actually what it is, disguised under its almost perfect, pure white shell. And this is where the rub lies. It was actually much more colorful: until the middle of the 20th century, the shell was sometimes slightly orange, grayish or green. But then companies relied exclusively on the use of the white fungus strain, for which a single fungus strain of the species Penicillium camemberti is currently used, according to the magazine “Le Journal” from the French research center CNRS. And that in turn causes problems: the microorganisms are not diverse enough.

The problem with diversity

Currently, only asexual reproduction is used in the production of Camembert, which means that no fresh, new genetic material is added. Over the years, the Camembert fungus strain has also lost the ability to produce spores. The researchers know that it has already become difficult for producers to obtain the mushroom strain in sufficient quantities.

Camembert expiration date: 5 to 10 years

To reassure you: Camembert is currently not under acute threat, but in the next five to ten years it could become tight, Tatiana Giraud from the Université Paris-Saclay told the newspaper “Le Parisien”. Although the cheese can also be made with other cultures, this in turn influences the taste and color.

And to make things worse for all cheese fans: other varieties are also affected, such as Roquefort.

So enjoy your Camembert while you still can.

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Bridget

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