Civilisation needs French cheese

A future without runny vacherin or odorous Pont-l’Evêque would be unbearable, Prince Charles said in a speech in French

2 December 2015

EUROPEAN civilisation depends on the survival of traditional French cheese, said Prince Charles on a visit to France.

The Prince - in Paris to speak at the UN climate talks – made a passionate speech about cheese at the Institut de France, which has awarded him the François Rabelais medal for his work supporting organic farming.

Known for his ‘Duchy Originals’ organic food, the Prince first paid homage to the Paris attack victims and thanked the Institut for the prize, which is for services to gastromic heritage, before concluding with a speech in praise of French cheese.

He said (in French): “In a bacteriologically correct society – what will become of brie de Meaux, of crottin de Chavignol or bleu d’Auvergne? In a future without microbes, progressive and genetically modified, what hope will there be for the traditional fourme d’Ambert, the misshapen gruyère de Comté or the odorous Pont-L’Evêque?

“Will this obsession with accreditation, categorisation, homogenisation and pasteurisation bring with it the emasculation of robust old Roquefort, camembert, reblochon and even the runny vacherin?

“That might seem absurd – but a large part of the magnificent edifice of European civilisation rests on the heritage of genius and know-how and the survival of real food, without which all of our lives would become absolutely unbearable.”

Listen to the prince's speech - in French - at:

Photo: Roquefort by Airunp / (below: screenshot from

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