It felt like a death in the family. And I didn’t even get to say goodbye. Learning that I might never again taste Abbaye de Belloc, one of my favorite French cheeses, made me frustrated and angry. (What are those four stages of grief?) The Benedictine monks who make this lovely Basque sheep cheese have decided not to share with the U.S. any longer. Who can blame them? And, alas, they aren’t the only European cheesemakers to reach this decision.Read More
Three years ago, one of France’s most respected affineurs stopped shipping his sublime cheeses to the U.S. Pascal Beillevaire was a cheese-world rock star, his wares selling briskly here and at his 20 shops in France. Then, in mid-2014, the FDA put the entire line on Import Alert, along with cheeses from several other European producers. The banned cheeses, tested on entry, had failed to clear the FDA’s high bar.