Thursday, January 23, 2020

European Cheeses May Be Unaffordable Soon

Culture Magazine is a periodical all about the wonderful world of cheese, making it one of my favorite magazines. In fact, I have a birthday coming up. If one of my readers wanted to give me a gift subscription, I wouldn't object.

Getting back on topic, according to their piece Tariffs 101: EU cheeses take a hike, the Trump administration has proposed EU tariff hike, In October of last year, the White House imposed a 25% tax on imports from the EU, including spirits, wine, and cheese. Cheese retailers have begun amassing supplies of Provolone, Roquefort, Edam, Comtè, Emmental, Parmigiano Reggiano, and literally hundreds of other affected cheeses. However, such supplies are expected to be exhausted before 2021.

When I first read about this travesty, I rolled my eyes and said to myself, “This is one more way Trump's f#@&ing things up.” I thought about it though, and realized there's a bit of a silver lining. With imports disappearing from the market, American cheese enthusiasts have a good excuse to really get to know American cheese.

Now, when I say, “American cheese,” I’m not referring to processed cheese made from a blend of milk, milk fats and solids, with other fats and whey protein concentrate. I’m talking about superbly crafted artisan creations which excite the senses and delight the pallet.

Today, hundreds of artisan cheese makers are turning out delicious labors of love. Eaters can find American cheeses in every conceivable flavor and texture, made from a variety of milks.

My favorite of these is Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue. This cow’s milk cheese is cold smoked over hazelnut shells and cave aged, in Central Point, Oregon, to produce a creamy cheese with flavors of; sweet cream, salt, and smoke; reminiscent of bacon. This is just one of a myriad of quality blue cheeses made right here in the United States of America, not to mention the wide array of Cheddar, Swiss-esc, Gouda-esc, Italian inspired, and completely original cheeses produced on our shores.

I’m not suggesting there are obvious American, 1 to 1, replacements for each European cheese that's on the market. Many pasta lovers are going to miss affordable Parmigiano Reggiano. Yet, Cotija is a semi-hard salty Mexican cheese, which American fans of spaghetti may want to consider grating atop of their meal.

Like it, or not, the upcoming shortage will force serious cheese eaters to experiment with alternatives from this side of the pond. We can choose to see such experimentation as a burden or an adventure. I think you know which way I lean.

No comments:

Post a Comment