Camembert de Normandie | ūü¶ÜThe Bow Tie Duck Manila

Camembert de Normandie

An Establishment in Itself

This famed cheese from Nor¬≠mandy, a small disc of down-soft rind and creamy, earthy p√Ęt√©, has become a house¬≠hold name in North¬≠ern France.


Usu¬≠al¬≠ly sold in round wood¬≠en box¬≠es, Camem¬≠bert is easy to iden¬≠ti¬≠fy because of the white, downy mold on its rind. It is aged at least four weeks, after a brin¬≠ing peri¬≠od that ensures only the cor¬≠rect mold grows along the exte¬≠ri¬≠or. This cheese‚Äôs run¬≠ny p√Ęt√© is a light yel¬≠low in col¬≠or, with an intense smell that calls to mind the aro¬≠mas of the val¬≠ley its raw milk comes from. It has, at its heart, a faint salti¬≠ness as it ripens, right under the taste of rich but¬≠ter and for¬≠aged mush¬≠rooms. It has a round¬≠ed after¬≠taste with a pleas¬≠ant tang and soft finish.


Camem¬≠bert is a famil¬≠iar pres¬≠ence on cheese boards, most often the star soft-rind cheese set along¬≠side one or two blues and an array of hard and semi-hard cheeses. Add some fresh and dried fruit, toast¬≠ed baguette slices, and fla¬≠vor¬≠ful nuts to com¬≠plete your pre¬≠sen¬≠ta¬≠tion. To fur¬≠ther impress your guests, serve your board with Nor¬≠mandy apple cider or Cal¬≠va¬≠dos, the tra¬≠di¬≠tion¬≠al part¬≠ners for Camem¬≠bert cheese.

If apple-based alco¬≠holic drinks are not to your taste, Camem¬≠bert pairs well with a wide vari¬≠ety of drinks. Wine drinkers will enjoy its earthy fla¬≠vor with crisp Ries¬≠ling, Sauvi¬≠gnon Blanc, and spicy Gew√ľrz¬≠tramin¬≠er, as well as fruity Pinot Noirs, Mer¬≠lots, or equal¬≠ly earthy Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape. Of course, a Cava or fruit-for¬≠ward Cham¬≠pagne will do just as nice¬≠ly. Beer folk will enjoy Camem¬≠bert with IPAs and Saisons, as well as Czech pil¬≠sners. And for those who enjoy a good whiskey, rye is the way to go. That, or a sin¬≠gle malt scotch.


Bell¬≠e¬≠vaire encour¬≠ages the devel¬≠op¬≠ment of all tra¬≠di¬≠tion¬≠al, arti¬≠sanal meth¬≠ods of cheese¬≠mak¬≠ing, and it is in this spir¬≠it that they have part¬≠nered with fro¬≠mager Pierre Mar¬≠ty of Gavray in Manche to cre¬≠ate the Bon¬≠choix Camembert. 

The his¬≠to¬≠ry and tra¬≠di¬≠tion of this cheese goes back to the French Rev¬≠o¬≠lu¬≠tion at the end of the 18th cen¬≠tu¬≠ry. A cler¬≠gy¬≠man from the region of Brie de Meaux went into hid¬≠ing in the vil¬≠lage of Camem¬≠bert, Orne, and came to be assist¬≠ed by dairy¬≠maid and cheese¬≠mak¬≠er Marie Harel. He gave her the recipe for Brie cheese and, with her own twists and mod¬≠i¬≠fi¬≠ca¬≠tions, the Camem¬≠bert de Nor¬≠mandie was born. 

Storage Instructions

Cheeses (except brined ones in jars) should be stored in the crisper or the but¬≠ter draw¬≠er of a refrig¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tor, not on the shelves them¬≠selves. This is to help reg¬≠u¬≠late their tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture and humid¬≠i¬≠ty lev¬≠els‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČand pre¬≠vents the for¬≠ma¬≠tion of mold. Once opened, they should not be kept in their orig¬≠i¬≠nal pack¬≠ag¬≠ing. Soft cheeses with del¬≠i¬≠cate rinds need to breathe, so they are best placed in glass con¬≠tain¬≠ers lined with paper tow¬≠els to absorb extra mois¬≠ture. Leave the lid open a tiny bit for air to cir¬≠cu¬≠late and don‚Äôt for¬≠get to write up a label with the date you first opened the pack¬≠age. Your cheese will be fine for up to one month. Cheeses are air-flown from France on demand. They are meant to be con¬≠sumed with¬≠in 1 to 2 weeks of their arrival at your residence.

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