Sacre bleu (cheese)! French kick up a stink after not a single one of their fromages make the world’s top 10 – while Italy gets EIGHT on the list
A list of the world’s top 10 cheeses has sent the French into meltdown after not a single one of their offerings made the cut.
Earlier this week, the global food website Taste Atlas, which is based in Bulgaria, claimed that Italy was home to eight of the best-rated cheeses, according to their database of reviews.
Parmesan came in first place, with the website highlighting how the flavours can vary from ‘nutty to robust and slightly piquant’ depending on how much time it has had to mature.
Two other Italian varieties took podium positions in the rankings – with burrata coming in second, followed by the hard cheese Grana Padano.
The only two cheeses originating from other countries to feature in the list were Portugal’s Serra da Estrela and Polish Bundz, which came in seventh and ninth place respectively and are both made out of sheep’s milk.
Eight of the 10 best-rated cheeses in the world originated from Italy, according to Taste Atlas’ rankings
Taste Atlas then went on to share an extended top 100 list – with Reblochon being the first French cheese to appear after nabbing the 13th spot.
Comté – a semi-hard cheese which originates in Eastern France – then came in 14th. In contrast, Camembert was ranked 88 out of 100.
However, the UK and US fared far worse in the rankings – with not a single one of the countries’ cheese making it into the top 100 on the website.
Unsurprisingly, the divisive list caused outrage on social media – which prompted the French news channel BFMTV to weigh in on the debate.
The hosts said the results were a ‘crushing blow for French gastronomy’ before adding: ‘The judges must have been Italian.’
Meanwhile, Twitter users also argued that French cheeses should have ranked much higher.
One fumed: ‘I definitely don’t agree. Reblochon, the first French cheese?
‘The person who did this list doesn’t know anything about French cheese.’
Parmesan came out top in Taste Atlas’ list of the top 10 best-rated cheeses in the world – prompting outrage on social media
Twitter users agreed that French cheeses should have featured higher on the list after the first one came in 13th place
Another added: ‘ Aside from the first 12 items on the list, anyone who thinks Reblochon is the best of all French cheeses needs to be sent to some kind of re-education camp for a very long time.’
A third exasperated user wrote: ‘An extremely stupid list, I’d say.’
Meanwhile, a fourth said: ‘No feta cheese here? OMG.’
‘That’s bull***t,’ a fifth raged. ‘Stilton is the king of cheese.’
Speaking to the Telegraph, cheesemaker Yves Jourquin argued that the Taste Atlas findings accurately reflected the popularity of Italian cheeses around the globe.
He explained: ‘The ruling makes sense because Parmesan remains one of the most emblematic cheeses and can be found on all tables in France whereas I’m not sure you’d find French cheese on Italian tables.’
What’s more, Clément Brossault – who works at Paris fromagerie Goncourt – said the French cheese industry relies less heavily on export as residents eat so much of their country’s own cheese.
He said: ‘We export 4,000 tons of Comté compared with 40,000 tons of Parmesan.’
Last year, Taste Atlas caused uproar when they placed the US ahead of France in a ranking of the world’s best cuisine.
In response to thousands of complaints, the website explained how they put together the rankings.
A representative said: ‘Throughout the year, people rate those foods (not cuisines).
‘At the end of the year, we take the average of the best-rated dishes in each kitchen (so that France is not brought down by frogs, for example). And that’s it.’