LA GUERRE DES FROMAGES QUI PUENT (The War of the Stinky Cheeses, FR, English Subtitles)

This documentary, produced and aired by France 5 last year, investigates the explosion of artisanal and raw milk cheese production in North America even as it is increasingly threatened in France itself, historically the “Land of Cheese”. Speaking to artisanal cheese makers in France, America and Canada, as well as affineurs, cheesemongers, importers, educators, dairy scientists and people from all facets of the cheese business, we learn of the complex challenges facing the producers of artisanal cheese on both sides of the Atlantic, with equal measures of hope and concern for all involved.

The filmmakers spoke to many luminaries of the cheese world, including Hervé Mons and his team at Mons AffineursRodolph Le Meunier, Matteo Kehler and the Cellars at Jasper HillVeronique Richez-LerougeAnn SaxelbyLarkin Cold StorageBeechers NYCFromagerie Des Grondine, the American Cheese Society and many more (One can’t help but note the many people that were not included of course, and it would be easy to say “I can’t believe they didn’t talk to X, or Y”, but you can only fit so many interviews in 50 minutes I suppose).

This  documentary does a good job of presenting a broad array of viewpoints and perspectives, from the smallest farmstead cheese makers in the mountains of France — the “last of the Mohican”  fromagers, as Hervé Mons call them — to the corporate giants who are now eying the rapid growth of American artisanal cheese — and the dollars it represents — with great interest; in doing so they expose a world in flux, with opportunities and dangers for all involved, but driven at its core by an awe-inspiring passion for cheese in all its stinky glory.

(For English Subtitles please click the “CC” button.)
Blog, Subtitles and translation by Matt Spiegler /

One response to “LA GUERRE DES FROMAGES QUI PUENT (The War of the Stinky Cheeses, FR, English Subtitles)

  1. Thanks for posting this. I hope American cheese makers can keep their independence. And I hope that not too many more French cheeses die out.

    In New Zealand cheese makers are just starting to make raw milk cheese. Though to enable an industry to grow there needs to be people willing to pay for it. That’s what, in my own little way, I am trying to do, raise people’s awareness and expectations through tasting and learning!

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