Camembert de Normandie
Made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's milk
Country of origin: France
Type: soft, soft-ripened
Fat content: 45%
Colour: pale yellow
Flavour: buttery, creamy, smooth
Producers: Le Chatelain
Synonyms: Camembert Le Châtelain
Marie Harel, created the original Camembert cheese from raw milk, in Normandy, France, in 1971. Today, however, a very small percentage of producers make cheese from raw milk with the same process as Marie Harel would have used. Those that do produce cheese using this method can legally call their cheese Camembert Normandie under the AOC guidelines. However, the production of Camembert cheese has now transcended the AOC designation. Very good varieties of Camembert cheese made from pasteurised milk can be found in Normandy today. The best of them is the Camembert Le Châtelain.
The fresh Camembert cheese is bland, hard and crumbly in texture when fresh. As the cheese matures it forms a smooth, runny interior and a white bloomy rind that is typical to Camenbert cheese. It has a rich, buttery flavour. The rind is bloomy white caused by a white fungus, called penicillium candidum. It is meant to be eaten with the cheese.
This cheese is best paired with a light red wine such as Beaujolais, Chenin Blanc, St Emilion, St Estephe or traditionally a glass of Normandy cider.
Original Camembert has AOC designation only if made from raw milk. However, you will find many Camembert cheeses made from pasteurised milk both in and outside of France. Young Camembert has a milky and sweet taste, while after ripening it becomes strong and fruity.