France Faces a Shortage of Authentic Camembert Cheese

iStock
iStock

Camembert cheese is one of France's most famous culinary traditions—but as Bloomberg reports, truly authentic wheels of the soft, creamy delicacy are in danger of disappearing from market shelves.

The Camembert sold at your local grocery store may be tasty, but it technically isn't the real deal, purists say. That honor is reserved for a type of cheese called Camembert de Normandie, which comes from the Normandy region of France. It's made with unpasteurized milk collected from local cows, contains a fat content of at least 38 percent, and is produced using the same time-honored methods first utilized by 18th-century farmers. (The cheese's purported inventor is French cheesemaker Marie Harel, who, according to legend, first created it in 1791 by adapting a priest's recipe.) To distinguish a "real" Camembert wheel from a fake one, foodies look for a label bearing the letters PDO, which indicates that the cheese's provenance is legitimate.

Sadly for fromage fans, production of Camembert de Normandie is on the wane. In 2007, several large-scale Camembert producers petitioned to legally use pasteurized milk instead of the raw variety. That would allow them to lower production costs by relying on multiple milk sources and making the cheese in larger batches. (The consumption of unpasteurized milk also carries health risks; for this reason, the sale of "real" Camembert cheese is banned in the U.S.)

Smaller Camembert producers protested the move, and they won the battle. In turn, big businesses began making an imitation Camembert that was better for their bottom line. Over the years, these same companies have been buying out smaller farms while producing a less-expensive product. While palatable to many, the cheese isn't actually Camembert—and today, only 1 percent of the 360 million wheels of Camembert produced annually are deemed authentic.

Camembert production may be going au revoir, but French farmers say the best way to keep the cheese alive is by, well, eating it. We can't think of a more delicious way to preserve culture.

[h/t Bloomberg]

This Gorgeous Vintage Edition of Clue Sets the Perfect Mood for a Murder Mystery

WS Game Company
WS Game Company

Everyone should have a few good board games lying around the house for official game nights with family and friends and to kill some time on the occasional rainy day. But if your collection leaves a lot to be desired, you can class-up your selection with this great deal on the Vintage Bookshelf Edition of Clue for $40.

A brief history of Clue

'Clue' Vintage Bookshelf Edition.
WS Game Company.

Originally titled Murder!, Clue was created by a musician named Anthony Pratt in Birmingham, England, in 1943, and he filed a patent for it in 1944. He sold the game to Waddington's in the UK a few years later, and they changed the name to Cluedo in 1949 (that name was a mix between the words clue and Ludo, which was a 19th-century game.) That same year, the game was licensed to Parker Brothers in the United States, where it was published as Clue. Since then, there have been numerous special editions and spinoffs of the original game, not to mention books and a television series based on it. Most notably, though, was the cult classic 1985 film Clue, which featured Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, and Lesley Ann Warren.

As you probably know, every game of Clue begins with the revelation of a murder. The object of the game is to be the first person to deduce who did it, with what weapon, and where. To achieve that end, each player assumes the role of one of the suspects and moves strategically around the board collecting clues.

With its emphasis on logic and critical thinking—in addition to some old-fashioned luck—Clue is a masterpiece that has stood the test of time and evolved with each decade, with special versions of the game hitting shelves recently based on The Office, Rick and Morty, and Star Wars.

Clue Vintage Bookshelf Edition

'Clue' Vintage Library Edition.
WS Game Company

The Vintage Bookshelf Edition of Clue is the work of the WS Game Company, a licensee of Hasbro, and all the design elements are inspired by the aesthetic of the 1949 original. The game features a vintage-looking game board, cards, wood movers, die-cast weapons, six pencils, an ivory-colored die, an envelope, and a pad of “detective notes.” And, of course, everything folds up and stores inside a beautiful cloth-bound book box that you can store right on the shelf in your living room.

Clue Vintage Bookshelf Edition is a limited-release item, and right now you can get it for $40.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

This Smart Accessory Converts Your Instant Pot Into an Air Fryer

Amazon
Amazon

If you can make a recipe in a slow cooker, Dutch oven, or rice cooker, you can likely adapt it for an Instant Pot. Now, this all-in-one cooker can be converted into an air fryer with one handy accessory.

This Instant Pot air fryer lid—currently available on Amazon for $80—adds six new cooking functions to your 6-quart Instant Pot. You can select the air fry setting to get food hot and crispy fast, using as little as 2 tablespoons of oil. Other options include roast, bake, broil, dehydrate, and reheat.

Many dishes you would prepare in the oven or on the stovetop can be made in your Instant Pot when you switch out the lids. Chicken wings, French fries, and onion rings are just a few of the possibilities mentioned in the product description. And if you're used to frying being a hot, arduous process, this lid works without consuming a ton of energy or heating up your kitchen.

The lid comes with a multi-level air fry basket, a broiling and dehydrating tray, and a protective pad and storage cover. Check it out on Amazon.

For more clever ways to use your Instant Pot, take a look at these recipes.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.