Camembert Cheese (AOC)
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About Camembert AOC Cheese
Camembert cheese is a regular supermarket cheese, which has been embraced by many who previously have no interest in cheese. As a soft, creamy and complimentary option, Camembert has been known as the cheese to introduce people to soft cheeses.
The history behind Camambert is that it was originally produced by Marie Harel in Normandy, France, using traditional methods and raw milk. The cheese itself is named after the picturesque village near Vimoutiers, in the Orne region of Normandy.
Camembert AOC has a bloomy white rind, caused by a white fungus (penicillium candidum) intended to be eaten with the cheese.
True AOC (Appellation d'origine contrôlée) Camembert is only applicable if produced using raw, unpasteurised milk, utilising the same process as Marie Harel. Though today many "Camembert's" are produced with pasteurised milk in Normandy and are acceptable, having transcended the AOC designation.
Camembert cheese (AOC) when fresh is actually quite bland - hence being a good cheese to introduce people to soft cheeses. Young Camembert can be actually quite hard and crumbly, whilst maintaining it's unassuming character.
As the cheese matures it gains it's characteristic pale yellow, runny interior, building in full flavoured, rich buttery flavour with a strong mushroom aroma.
How to Enjoy
Camembert AOC is incredibly versatile. Regularly used as an easy representation of a soft cheese on cheeseboards in the UK, it can be hugely undervalued. Though lovely on crusty bread in it's own right, Camembert is also superb baked or as a fondue, and as a luxurious addition pasta dishes. A particularly good use of Camembert is in Camembert AOC and Smoked Salmon en croute or baked with thyme and garlic as a whole.
Well paired with light red wines, such as Beaujolais and Chenin Blanc, or a glass of (Normandy) cider.
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