Artisan vs. Industrial Cheese
With the arrival of the industrial revolution, many of the cheese makers moved to the factories where their products had pasteurized milk and were made in an assembly line. For most of the 20th century, this was the way of production, until many farm produced cheeses became in use again. Although these two production methods make the same cheeses, in some particular cheeses, where the production method is more intricate and complex, there is a difference in both taste and texture.
Traditionally Produced Cheese or ‘artisanal’ cheese
Many prefer their cheese made from farmhouses due to the delicate and precious craftsmanship that goes into its production. The process tends to be lengthy and involved, and carefully monitored. The production is also more limited due to workmanship, so these artisan cheeses are harder to find…but well worth it. The farms or fromagerie tend to be very small, producing small quantities of high quality cheese, which are typically molded by hand. Typically, the cheese
in unpasteurized, which preserved more of the original flavor of the milk. However, unpasteurized or “raw milk” cheeses are difficult to import due to FDA regulations in the United States, which require that such cheese be matured for 60 days to reduce the risk of contamination. (A great producer of raw milk cheese is Chantal Plasse who produces delicious products like Brie and Brillat Savarin).*
Industrially Produced Cheese or “Industriel” Cheese
The mechanization of the cheese industry created a market for mass-produced cheese, which made them easier to make and more available to the public. Contrary to popular opinion, industriel cheeses are not inferior to the artisan fromages; it basically depends on the producer itself, and the quality of their manufacturing process. Delice de Bourgogne*
, an incredibly popular French cheese
, is an industriel fromage that is remarkably creamy and smooth, and superior to many artisan cheeses. Industrially-produced cheeses are always pasteurized, therefore making them more readily available in the US.