Sometimes a food or drink emerges as a ready-formed (more or less) classic: Grey Goose vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Jarlsberg cheese. Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Jagermeister,* Spam, Heinz Ketchup. It goes on.
The originator may be small, medium, or large. Artisan methods may be deployed, sophisticated science, mother wit, or a combination. Countless products started like this, but many are so old we forget the origins. Most I’ve mentioned were devised after WW II, or not long before.
A cheese that qualifies is Cambozola. This German-made blue cheese is a brilliant invention, first marketed in 1980. It is, first and foremost, delicious. The creamy base, not dissimilar to French Camembert, combines perfectly with the blue veining. The “blue” taste is similar to that in classics like Stilton or Gorgonzola, but milder (s similar penicillium culture is used).
The acid test: you can eat it at breakfast, or I do. The cheese, especially when warmed, has a complex, satisfying taste even though (I assume) pasteurized and made for optimal consistency.
It keeps well, too, even if indifferently wrapped after opening. The firm that devised it is a long-established cheesemaker, Käserei Champignon, based in Lauben/Allgäu in south Germany.
Some history can be gleaned from the company website. Sales now are sizeable, with some 30% representing export business. This page has further details. The firm is over 100 years old, having started with a Camembert-style cheese that offered a characteristic “mushroom” scent.
(Jarlsberg was meant originally to resemble Swiss Emmental. It ended as its own style, as Cambozola has).
Research and dairying know-how combined to make a first, enduring product, and then they did it again with a blue version.
The regular product, the Classic, is pictured (source: brand website). There is also a premium Black Label. Cambozola is attractive as well for not being too salty – or expensive. Classic blues at least when exported can be rather saline, reducing their appeal for many. And they come at a price.
The company website explains well the origins and merits of the cheese:
In 1980, master cheese-makers in south Germany succeeded in achieving this uniqueness. The result was a new and fascinating composition. A very special cheese of its own kind: CAMBOZOLA.
With the unique interplay of tenderly melting curd and the refined flavour of blue mould, CAMBOZOLA is sure to impress. Cheese connoisseurs experience this stimulating taste experience in every single piece.
Today, CAMBOZOLA has a firm place in well-stocked cheese counters around the world. In over forty countries, connoisseurs choose CAMBOZOLA when they want to enjoy a truly exquisite soft cheese.
Marketing talk? In part, but justified. I like fine traditional cheeses with the best of them. Cambozola ranks with the best.
*Jagermeister originated in the 1930s in Germany. It had success as a domestic product, but I was thinking of its American career once introduced about 40 years ago by branding whiz Sidney Frank. He created a new, unlikely, college-based market for it. Earlier Frank had created the Grey Goose vodka brand.