Here we are, still galavanting through the green, rain-soaked hills of Normandy - this time in the wee town of Camembert.
This village was a 'must see' for us given we're all cheese lovers and this is the birthplace of the famous camembert variety.
Why the cows are so happy in Normandy
There's not much in Camembert any more, just a Maire (town hall), a church, a few houses and the cheese museum.
At the start of the museum tour you get to watch a short film that tells you all about the history of the cheese and how they make it.
Then you can walk through the small museum which does a great job of showing all the processes involved, from cow:
to milk truck:
to the factory:
These aren't real, BTW (although they would've fooled me after a few sherbets)
Here is Marie Harel, the lady given credit for the creation of camembert after talking to a priest from Brie.
Camembert was invented in the late 1700s and remained very much a regional cheese for over a hundred years.
Still not real
During the First World War the producers decided to donate one day's production a week to the French troops as their contribution to the war effort. As a result hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen discovered the divine gooeyness that is camembert and the cheese became a national sensation.
That's what I'm talking about
The main differences between the three are (from left to right):
1. Made with hot, pasteurised milk
2. Made with not-so-hot, pasteurised milk
3. Made with hot, raw milk.
Regarding the commercial use of the name 'camembert' for a cheese - many of you would have seen local non-French camembert in your supermarkets and might have wondered how that is possible. (Given that you can't call your sparkling white wine 'champagne' or your blue cheese 'roquefort' unless it's made in that region to the required standards.)
Lucky this gorgeous vintage cheese box was behind glass, otherwise I would've swiped it.
So if you want the 'real deal' AOC camembert you want to look out for 'Camembert de Normandie' - this will be made according to strict quality regulations from delicious unpasterised Normandy cow's milk. All the others are just posers (but yummy posers).
It will be 38% fat or higher and it will blow your mind. We bought a wheel to have for dinner that night with baguette and a Normandy apple cider. Heaven.
That was Camembert (well, most of it) and we loved it. A great half-day visit if you are in the Normandy area.
In other news - remember this day? Well, that was exactly a year ago. I can't believe he's one already! You'll find a much more recent photo of him over on my Facebook page.
Welcome to Friday, clink (that's my glass touching yours). I think we need another French pop video to lead us into the weekend.
This single, Je veux le monde (I want the world) has been released in the lead up to the musical play 1789: Les Amants de La Bastille, which opens in Paris in September. Honestly, I didn't pay that much attention to the music as I was too busy squeeing over the fact it's filmed at Versailles in costume.
What are my chances of getting the mister in a powdered wig? Phwoar.
Have a great weekend!