CAN I BRING FRENCH CHEESES HOME WHEN I RETURN TO AUSTRALIA?
If you’ve watched too many episodes of Border Security, you could be forgiven for thinking that bringing French cheeses into Australia is a sure route to a flame-grilling session with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, but not so.
You can import any cheeses, including the raw-milk variety, from countries that are free of foot and mouth disease, and that includes France, as well as Italy, Austria and Switzerland.
Make sure you declare them when you enter Australia, but your Roquefort, Epoisses and Reblochon will pass through the inspection with a nod and a wink.
The country of origin must be clearly marked and the packaging intact, so those little goat cheeses you bought from the farmer at the market stall in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue don’t qualify.
Specialty cheese shops in France will sometimes Cryovac your purchases and that’s ideal.
Even if they do, you need to pack your cheeses in your checked luggage rather than your carry-ons.
Airlines object to having their cabins scented with pong de fromage, and staff at the airport X-ray machines in France will confiscate them. I speak from bitter experience.