Marie Arel (née Catherine Marie Fontaine) created the original Camembert cheese from raw cow’s milk in Normandy, France in 1791. However, today a very small percentage of producers make cheese from raw milk using the same process as Marie Arel. Those who produce cheese using the Marie Harel Method can legally call their Camembert cheese Norman in accordance with the AOC guidelines. However, Camembert cheese production has now expanded beyond AOC. Today in Normandy you can find very good varieties of Camembert cheese made from pasteurized milk. The best of them is Camembert Le Chatelain.
Fresh Camembert cheese is soft, hard and crumbly in texture. Young Camembert has a milky sweet taste. As it ripens, the cheese develops a smooth internal liquid structure and a bright white rind. It has a rich, buttery taste. The rind is a bright white color caused by a white fungus called Penicillium Candidum. The peel is intended to be eaten with cheese.
This cheese is best paired with light red wines such as Beaujolais, Chenin Blanc, Saint-Emilion, Saint-Estef or a glass of traditional Norman cider.