14
Jan 10

Camembert de Normandie (cheesy lover #63)

FT + Pumpkin Publog/ • 839 views

My cheese was not as melty as this one

This is a soft raw milk cows’ cheese from Normandy, bought from Mons

My colleague Lars joins me for a cheesy lunch, and fancies something brie-ish oozing out of bread. We acquire a little wooden box of camembert from Mons – it’s the drippiest white-rind cheese they’ve got for sale today. It’s covered in a slightly patchy and uneven fuzzy white mould, and a rich, sticky orange rind peeks out from underneath this. The pale creamy yellow paste’s exposed when I cut a wedge, and while it’s not quite as oozy I’d count perfect, it’s still pretty moist.

It smells wonderful, but luckily no officemates complain. The rind is slightly crumbly, with an initial, unexpected grassiness and a hint something odd under its butteryness. It takes me a while to identify the savouryness of moules. The paste inside is gloriously melted under the rind, and a tiny bit chalky towards the centre. It tastes great: creamy and mushroomy, with a rich buttery mouthfeel, and hints of walnut and truffle and earth, but also with a slight astringency, a twiggy prickle, a lactic tartness and just the faintest whiff of ammonnia.

Lars thinks that this cheese “could kill a small animal – not a beaver, but maybe a frog.” I have no idea what he’s talking about! I think this cheese will be even better in a week or two, when it’s had time to get oozy and melty, and even more mushroomy mellow, but we’ve almost polished off the box between us, and I can’t see the little wedge that’s left, wrapped in the office fridge, surviving beyond tomorrow.

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