Viva la France!
Pamela Accetta Smith
Senior Editor
(847) 405-4069
smithp@bnpmedia.com

To help familiarize Americans with the French cheesemaking tradition and broad selection of French cheese imported into the United States, French dairy interests launched in July the Cheeses of France “Parlez-Vous Fromage?” campaign.
The cheese crusade kicked off at a New York City event hosted by chef Daniel Boulud at his namesake four-star restaurant, Daniel. Robert Kaufelt, owner of Murray’s Cheese in New York and author of The Murray’s Cheese Handbook, and Max McCalman, maitre fromager and author of The Cheese Plate, joined Boulud to offer insights into the French tradition of fine cheeemaking and its influence on today’s culinary scene.
The Centre National Interprofessionnel de l’Économie Laitière (CNIEL) of France is leading the integrated marketing campaign in support of the diverse selection of French cheeses imported into the United States. The Cheeses of France Marketing Council is a cooperative venture between CNIEL and Swardlick Marketing Group, a strategic marketing agency in the business of delivering innovative strategies to regional, national and international clients.
This is the first promotional venture for the council in the United States, and will unfold with branding, Web development, in-store marketing, trade show promotion and public relations. “Our goal is to expand the understanding of the cheeses of France within the United States and put a French-twist on the specialty cheese renaissance in America,” says Philippe Jachnik, international affairs counselor for CNIEL on behalf of the Cheeses of France Marketing Council. “There is a selection out there for everyone. Whether your palate seeks a unique nutty or sweet flavor, or a strong aromatic, brightly colored fromage is your preference, France produces an abundant variety worth celebrating. Our goal is to expand the understanding of the Cheeses of France within the United States, and put a French-twist on the specialty-cheese renaissance in America.”
According to Boulud, chef-owner of some of this country’s finest French restaurants, France has even more superb cheeses than it has local cuisines. “And that’s saying a lot,” he says. “As with French wine making, when it comes to cheese, each region has not one but countless excellent varieties, and several at an exceptional level of quality. I can think of half a dozen for Burgundy alone. This is one of the many things that sets France gastronomy apart. Our cheeses are a matter of national pride and really do reflect the ‘terroir’ — or local culture, climate, soil, terrain and flavor — of every part of the country. Vive les fromages Francais!”
With the love and knowledge of specialty cheeses growing more than ever in this country, I really look forward to the outcome of this campaign.
For more information about the Cheeses of France, visit www.cheesesoffrance.com