Normandy’s Camembert is one of the most famous cheeses in France and indeed in the world. Despite being protected by a PDO, it is still widely imitated.
The quality of Camembert comes from the milk of Normande cows who graze on the Normandy’s rich pastures and are fed hay in the winter. Their milk is rich in fats and protein and perfect for cheesemaking. The skilled task of moulage à la louche (hand-ladling into molds) lightens the curds, and this step is essential to giving the finished cheese its distinctive characteristics. The curds are not broken up, but a small amount is scooped up with a ladle, whose diameter is the same as the mold (10.5 to 11 centimeters), then placed into the mold so the whey can drain off.
This gesture is repeated at least five times, every 40 minutes, layering the curds in the molds. This production technique, plus the microclimate and the extraordinary characteristics of the raw milk used, make for a unique cheese of excellent quality, which has become emblematic of France’s cheesemaking traditions.
Slow Food has started a Presidium to protect natural farmhouse Camembert.
How It’s Made is a new format for Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2020. They are accessible for free on this site!
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