The past ten years have seen an explosion in the production of American artisanal and farmstead cheese. From Laura Chenel’s chèvre, which in the 1970s was one of the first farmstead cheeses to be produced in the United States, to the recent publication of Jeffrey Roberts's Atlas of American Cheese, a guidebook to the hundreds of farms producing excellent domestic cheeses, a culture of great cheese is truly beginning to thrive here. Like the wine renaissance in California in the 1970s, at the heart of the development of fine cheese in the U.S. is a deep respect for French cheeses and cheesemakers, who have been honing their traditional craft for centuries and have even provided training for many of the best cheesemakers in this country.
In fact, concurrent with the explosive growth in domestic cheese has been a comparable expansion in imports of French cheese to America. According to the Cheeses of France Marketing Council, which has recently launched a campaign called Parlez-Vous Fromage to educate American consumers on the variety and quality of French cheeses available here, exports to this country have more than doubled over the past ten years. Clearly our taste for good cheese knows no boundaries, and this increase in consumption of French cheese here in America can only bode well for the continued burgeoning of our domestic production.
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