Isigny St. Mere Camembert
Both an historic and gastronomic monument, the invention of the Camembert cheese is attributed to cheesemaker Marie Harel, who lived near the village of Camembert in the early years of the French revolution. Camembert cheese earned an excellent reputation first in Normandy, before being made in other regions in the late 19th century.
At Isigny Sainte-Mère, the local milk is considered to be 'white gold'. It is this outstanding raw material which allows the cooperative to make a Camembert that never fails to take on a beautiful color as it ripens, giving off a heady perfume and great character of flavor. The European system of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) has its origins in a French system that recognized and identified products which typified a given terroir and traditional producers’ know-how. The Normandy Camembert was awarded PDO status in 1986.
Having PDO status is an official mark of quality. First of all, it guarantees that the Camembert has been made locally from raw milk produced in the Normandy terroir. The mold is filled by hand with a ladle and the cheese is ripened for a minimum of 16 days in the ripening chambers. The milk destined to become Camembert cheese is first heated in vats. Then it is seeded with lactic cultures and rennet is added. The rennet curdles the milk and starts to drain naturally, before the molds are filled, in a number of successive passes, depending on the required results. Each layer of curds will rest for 40 minutes before the next is added on top: this is a basic measure to ensure the finished cheese is supple. The batch of Camemberts are salted and then put to rest in a well ventilated room called a hâloir, in which the master cheesemaker watches over the early stages of the ripening, which he can adjust by changing the humidity and temperature in the room.
On day four the Camemberts release a mild smell of apple, a good sign for quality. On day six the appearance of a downy white coat of penicillin marks the start of ripening. This downy coat is why Camembert is classified as a soft cheese with a mold rind. On day 12 the cheese is ready to be packed into its traditional wooden box, in which it will continue to ripen.
Milk from the farms in the cooperative have a naturally occurring lactic bacterial flora which are unique to the Isigny terroir. Because they are present in Isigny Sainte-Mère Camemberts, the taste is distinctive for experts to identify the cooperative’s output in a range of Camemberts from different producers.
|Brand||Isigny St. Mere|