Drought forces France to stop making 2,000-year-old cheese

Drought forces France to stop making 2,000-year-old cheese

French farmers have bid adieu to this fromage.

The production of Salers cheese has been halted in France because of the summer’s extended drought, The Guardian reported.

The extended dry period, combined with unprecedented heat waves in Europe this summer, means there is not enough grass to feed the cows whose mile is used to create the traditional delicacy.

Salers is a semi-hard unpasteurized cow’s cheese that has been made in the central French region of the same name for 2,000 years. It carries France’s AOC stamp of approval, meaning it is unique to that small area.

France’s famously strict regulations state that Salers must come only from the milk of local cows that feed on at least 75 percent of grass from mountain pastures in the summer.

Most of the 76 farmers whose milk is used in Salers production are lamenting that their formerly green pastures are now dry and yellow from the lack of water.

“There’s nothing left to eat,” farmer Laurent Roux, told radio station France Bleu. “The terrain is so dry that in places, it looks like ash. It’s dust.”

Former French Economy Minister and founder of the political movement "En Marche" (On the Move), Emmanuel Macron reacts as he visits a farm producing AOP (Original Protected Name) Salers cheese in Laroquevieille, near Aurillac, France.
Salers cheese is considered a delicacy with strict quality standards.

It’s the first time in history the cheese’s production has ever been shut down.

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