Ash is Back

Remember the missing Morbier? Over the past two years, the FDA detained several imported cheeses because they contained vegetable ash, an ingredient the agency considered a non-permitted colorant. Never mind that European cheesemakers have been using ash for centuries—largely to make the surface of acidic cheeses more hospitable to good molds. Numerous scientific reviews have found nothing scary about ash.

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Raw Deal

Will you miss them when they’re gone? America’s raw-milk cheeses haven’t been outlawed—yet—but they are definitely under threat. The FDA is currently scrutinizing this tiny sliver of the dairy world and considering heightened regulations. Although an outright ban strikes me as unlikely, the agency may well make compliance so onerous and expensive that many raw-milk cheese producers will toss in the towel.

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It’s Official: Time for Cheese

Although every month is American Cheese Month at my house, October is officially American Cheese Month. Why October? I have no clue, but your local cheese shop is probably using the opportunity to showcase more domestic selections than usual. Go buy something you’ve never tried.

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