CAMEMBERT of NORMANDY,a famous soft cheese enjoyed by Salvador Dali and...........Lauro!
Camembert Travel Blog› entry 5 of 45 › view all entries
This cheese is probably the most famous French soft cheese in the world.This AOC cheese can only be produced in Normandy according to defined and traditional methods.
It was invented in 1791,during the French Revolution by a female farmer called Marie Harel,(of the village of Camembert in Normandy,a province SW of Paris,famous during the WWII),advised by a recalcitrant priest of the Brie,the Abbé Gobert.Her grandson,Victor Paynel met in 1863 Napoleon III (the small!!) and have introduced to him one of his cheeses.The little Nap enjoyed it and gave to this unknown cheese the name of the village of production:CAMEMBERT.From that time on,this cheese was savoured at the court in the Tuileries and became widely known.
In 1890,Mr Ridel,an engineer invented a thin wooden poplar box used to carry the cheeses , pack them during long distance transport and so,allow it to become widely spread.These boxes are still used today.
In the early 1900's,a new sport,the CAMEMBERT-THROWING was created by Joel Hubaut.Competitions still take place today with a record above 40 meters!
During WWII,this cheese was one of the components of the tin rations given to the French soldiers and thus became firmly fixed in the French popular culture.
SALVADOR DALI and the camembert.he said:New York is a gothic roquefort(sheep cheese from Aveyron),San francisco reminds me of a romanesque camembert.The original idea of the painting,The Persistance of Memory in MoMA known as SOFT WATCHES came to him on a hot summer's day when the painter noticed how runny a camembert had become because of the heat!
The great Writer Lauro is also a connoisseur of this cheese.
CAMEMBERT is now a VILLAGE of nearly 200 people with its church of the 14th century built with local stones,its stele of Marie Harel built thanks to an American doctor from NYC who have found that this cheese was an efficient medication against stomachaches!In the cemetery don't miss the tomb of the spouse of the ancient mayor:since 1915,her coffin is filled each year with CALVADOS,the local spirit to pay homage to his beloved!There is also the Maison du Camembert,a village hall used for summer exhibitions seeming a half-opened cheese box.
AOC CAMEMBERT PRODUCTION:
AOC camembert is made from UNPASTEURIZED milk of Normandy countryside and produced in small rounds about 350 grams (around 12 oz) typically wrapped in paper(mostly white) and packaged in a thin wooden boxes of nearly 11 cm in diameter.It has a white striated rind and a light yellow interior.
The milk is poured into large containers,then rennet (a natural complex of enzymes produced in anny mammalian stomach) is added to the milk to make it coagulate.After 1h 30,the milk is curdled and comes the moulding using special ladle.24 hours later, it is taken out of its mould and set on a tray in a salting room,then it is covered on the both sides with salt and finally with the fungus Penicillum candidum(and no more with penicillum camemberti responsible of blue moistures) and placed on special shelves for 12 days.
After 21 days the cheese is said to be refined (affiné in French).
To receive AOC,the cheese has to respect norms like:
- the milk temperature should not rise over 37°C (98°F) during the whole process
- the moulding should be done with a laddle
- salt must be only a dry one
- at least 45% fat
- at least 115 g of dry matter.
- better in Spring
- the cheese should be supple under the crust (press it with your thumb,lightly)
- the crust should look like thin white down,sometimes covered withlittle red dots.
- the interior should have a light yellow color
- must be eaten when its temperature is around 18°-20°C ,don't keep it in the fridge till the last minute!
- because of its strong taste it may denature a great wine:dring a young red one!