The April cheese : camembert from Normandy

White, round, creamy, the camembert is the darling of the French. They buy about 500 million a year, that is almost 15 per second. But do we really know it well? What know-how lies beneath its rind  ? Do we really appreciate it ? This is our cheese of the month and we share with you the secrets of this soft cheese with a flowery rind. It’s spring, the camembert season is open!

How do you properly choose your camembert?

Do you know the difference between a camembert DE Normandy (from) and a camembert made in Normandy (“fabriqué en”)? It’s a big one!

True, the one and only, the genuine camembert is the “camembert from Normandy” with raw milk. It’s the one we love ! You can recognize it from its taste and its strong character. What about all the confusing labels? Thanks to the designation of protected origin AOP label which regulates the production of camembert from Normandy.

Camembert_de_Normandie_(AOP)_04

And what about all the other camemberts “manufactured” in Normandy? These are industrial cheeses that may (often) be made of pasteurized milk, or milk from any cows, which are not necessarily located in Normandy…

What are the secrets of camembert from Normandy?

The camembert from Normandy is a French pride. A know-how that carries an AOP. . Some history, rigor and love, that’s how cheesemakers produce the camembert from Normandy. Its raw milk is produced by the Normande cattle breed (at least 50 % of them) that graze more than 6 months out of the year.

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The milk is turned into curd, which is then molded in five successive layers spaced every 40 minutes. Ladle molding is a traditional gesture that requires the greatest attention! The camembert from Normandy is then drained, turned over, salted and matured.

How do you recognize a camembert from Normandy?

The rind is white and flowery, with superficial mold that give it a white felting. It can be spotted with orange and red. Its edges complete the picture, colored with a light yellow.

Camembert_de_Normandie_(AOP)_14

And under the rind ? The heart of the camembert cheese is smooth and the color of its dough vacillates between ivory and light yellow. Camembert is a true work of art that we can look at, touch and smell !  By the way, if the camembert smells of ammonia, it means it is too ripe.

CHow to properly taste the camembert from Normandy?

With love. Don’t forget to take it out of the refrigerator an hour before serving. Once it is at room temperature, enjoy it by letting it melt between your tongue and your palate. A creamy delight to discover during our cheese and wine tasting workshop in Paris.

Camembert_(Cheese)

Which wine to drink with a camembert from Normandy?

Choose a not too tannic fruity red. Our suggestions ? A Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil or a Morgon Les Charmes. More surprising, enjoy your camembert with a chilled hard cider.  Aromas of caramel will soften the bitterness of the rind… We are sure you’ll like it ! 😉

Do you like camembert ? Get to know it and to enjoy it during our cheese and wine tasting workshop in Paris

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