How Some of the World’s Most Famous Cheeses Are Made: Camembert, Brie, Gorgonzola & More

Attention cheese lovers!

Do you salivate at the thought of a Cheese Channel?

Careful what you wish for.

Food photographers employ all manner of disgusting tricks to make junky pancakes and fast food burgers look irresistibly mouthwatering.

Food Insiders’ Regional Eats tour of the Italian Gorgonzola-making process inside a venerable, family-owned Italian creamery is the inverse of that.

The finished product is worthy of a still life, but look out!

Despite the deliberately gentle motion of the custom-made machinery into which the milk is poured, getting there is a stomach churning prospect.

Personally, we don’t find the smell of that venerable, veined cheese offensive. The pungent aroma is practically music to our nose, stimulating the cilia at the tips of our sensory cells, alerting our tongue that a rare and favorite flavor is in range.

Nor is it a mold issue.

Marco Invernizzi, managing director of Trecate’s hundred-year-old Caseificio Si Invernizzi, exudes such deep respect for Penicillium roqueforti and the other particulars of Gorgonzola’s pedigree, it would surely be our honor to sample one of the 400 wheels his creamery produces every day.

Just give us a sec for the visuals of that grizzly birth video to fade from our memory.

With the exception of a close up on a faucet gushing milk into a bucket, the peek inside the Camembert-making process is a bit easier to stomach.

There are curds, but they’re contained.

The cheese at Le 5 Frères, a family farm in the village of Bermonville, is made by old fashioned means, ladling micro-organism-rich milk to which rennet has been added into perforated forms, that are topped off a total of five times in an hour.

The steamy temperatures inside the artisanal brie molding room at Seine-et-Marne’s 30 Arpents causes Food Insiders’ camera lens to fog, making for an impressionistic view, swagged in white.

Nearly 20 years ago, Mad Cow disease came close to wiping this operation out.

The current herd of friendly Holsteins were all born on 30 Arpents’ land. Each produces about 30 liters of milk (or slightly more than one daily wheel of brie de Meaux) per day.

Get the scoop on Swiss Emmentaler, Italy’s largest buffalo mozzarella balls, and other world cheese MVPs on Food Insider’s 87-video Cheese Insider playlist.

Related Content:

An Animated History of Cheese: 10,000 Years in Under Six Minutes

How to Break Open a Big Wheel of Parmesan Cheese: A Delightful, 15-Minute Primer

Does Playing Music for Cheese During the Aging Process Change Its Flavor? Researchers Find That Hip Hop Makes It Smellier, and Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” Makes It Milder

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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