PDO Normandy Camembert
This iconic, soft-rind cheese is made in Normandy from cow's milk. Camembert can be made from either raw or pasteurized milk. Its white, bloomy rind is slightly downy and gives off a rather potent odor. This cheese features a creamy texture and a bold woody and earthen flavor.
What you need to know
According to legend, Camembert was created by Marie Harel during the French Revolution in 1791 in a village near Camembert in the Pays d'Auge region. Harel agreed to hide a priest who sympathized with the rebellion at her farm. In exchange, he taught her how to make the cheese.
Camembert is made in Normandy and is labeled "Camembert de Normandie." It can be made with pasteurized or raw, reduced-fat Normandy cow's milk. In the latter case, the label will read "Camembert au lait cru." It comes in a round wheel that is around 4.5 inches in diameter and features a white, slightly downy rind.
The most artisanal version of Camembert is made by ladling the cheese into a mold in five distinct layers, each one spaced 50 minutes apart, once the milk has begun to curdle. After it is removed from the mold, the cheese is aged for 14 days in a cellar, then wrapped in paper and placed in a wooden box, where it continues to age for at least three weeks before it is sold.
Once the interior of the cheese is smooth and supple and either white or pale yellow, it is deemed to be fully ripened. This process takes around 35 days after production.
Rich in phosphorus, calcium, and zinc.
How to use
Sweet: hazelnuts, walnuts, apples, dried figs, honey, and pineapple.
Savory: potatoes, white truffles, button mushrooms, pork, and French charcuterie.
Wines and other drinks: red wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Beaujolais, pinot noir wines from Alsace, dry white chardonnays, Cidre Bouché de Normandie, Pommeau de Normandie, and amber beer.