Marie Harel created the original Camembert cheese from raw milk in Normandy, France in 1791. Today, however, a very small percentage of producers make cheese from raw milk with the same process as Marie Harel would have used. Those who produce cheese using Marie Harel's method, can legally call their cheese Camembert Normandie under the AOC guidelines. However, the production of Camembert cheese has now transcended the AOC designation. Very good varieties of Camembert cheese made from pasteurised milk can be found in Normandy today. The best of them is the Camembert Le Châtelain.
The fresh Camembert cheese is bland, hard and crumbly in texture. Young Camembert has a milky and sweet taste. As the cheese matures it forms a smooth, runny interior and a white bloomy rind that is typical to Camenbert cheese. It has a rich, buttery flavour. The rind is bloomy white caused by a white fungus, called penicillium candidum.The rind is meant to be eaten with the cheese.
This cheese is best paired with a light red wine such as Beaujolais, Chenin Blanc, St Emilion, St Estephe or traditionally a glass of Normandy cider.