In France, Italian mozzarella outsells camembert

Mozzarella knocks camembert off the soft cheese throne in France.

French appetites may be changing when it comes to soft cheese, with Italian mozzarella outselling camembert for the first time.

The Made in Italy dairy product has ousted the typical Normandy cheese as the best-selling in France, reports Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Mozzarella upseated camembert, France's long-undisputed king of cheese, according to sales figures from January to September 2021.

The news was reported by French newspaper Le Figaro, citing data from the Syndicat Normand des Fabricants de Camemberts (SNFC) which revealed that from the start of this year until 11 September, there were 29,230 tons of Camembert sold in France compared to 33,170 tons of mozzarella.

The SNFC president Farbrice Collier told Le Figaro that for the first time, "the camembert sales curve, which is falling steadily by 3 per cent annually, has dropped below that of mozzarella sales, which records an annual growth of 5 per cent."

Collier explains that while both products are considered soft cheeses, camembert has a stronger taste and is more suitable for cutting boards and dishes, consumed in restaurants or in more formal home meals.

Mozzarella on the other hand is fresher and more versatile - it can be used in cooking or on pizza - and is suitable for dishes that are quick to prepare as well as being considered more trendy.

Collier says that in the 1980s France produced "180,000 tons of Camembert, part of which was exported, twice as much as today."

This is compared to the success of mozzarella, the most exported Italian cheese in the world, with more than 107,000 tons of exports in 2020 according to data from dairy industry association Assolatte.