- Main characteristics
- History of Camembert cheese
- Interesting Camembert Historical facts
- Camembert benefits
- Harm and contraindications
- How to eat Camembert
- Camembert consumption rules
- What to eat with
- Aged Camembert
- Cooking use
- Canape with Camembert
- Camembert and coffee
- Baked Camembert
- Camembert cheese salad
Camembert is a soft fatty cow’s milk cheese with a velvety white mold crust and a delicate creamy taste.
Composition and calorie content
Energy value (100 g): 299 kcal.
Nutritional value (100 g):) proteins – 20 g, fats – 24 g, calcium, iron, magnesium.
Vitamins and minerals: vitamins A, C, D.
Storage: at about 8 ° C in a wooden box or parchment (but not in a bag or airtight container).
Region Normandy (France).
Whole milk is slightly warmed up, mesophilic bacteria, rennet are added, and left to curl for 1.5 hours. Ready soft curds are placed in cylindrical molds, in which they are turned every 6 hours so that the whey glass and a homogeneous mass is formed .. After a day, a hard cheese mass is formed, the cheese circles are salted, sprinkled with a solution of mold fungi Penicillium camemberti, left to ripen for at least 12-21 day. To obtain the highest quality Camembert, it is kept for at least 35 days.
Light cream to dark brick.
Taste and consistency
Young Camembert, ripening for up to 20 days, has a delicate sweet airy milky taste, more mature cheese (after 21 days of ripening) is saturated with full, bright fruit tones with hints of milk, nuts, mushrooms, herbs; the consistency of the cheese is firm, elastic, smeared with a thin crust and fluffy mold.
History of Camembert cheese
The history of Camembert cheese is associated with the name of the Norman peasant woman Marie Arel.
According to legend, in 1791, she helped a monk from Bree, who was threatened with a guillotine, to hide from persecutors, as well as many members of the clergy who opposed the revolutionary transformations that were taking place then in the country.
Having received a temporary shelter at the Marie Arel farm on the way to England, the monk, in gratitude, told a hardworking woman the secret of making a soft, tender cheese with a hard crust – Brie. According to sources, the monk’s name was Charles Jean Bonvost.
It is no secret that one of the important “ingredients” of cheese is terroir – a complex of natural factors affecting the quality of the final product, including: climatic features of the region, quality of soil, vegetation that cows feed on. Neither the monk nor the peasant woman took this into account.
Since Normandy is located to the north of the Ile-de-France (it is to this region that the Brie region belongs), then the natural and climatic features are different here. In general, Marie Arelle did not succeed in exactly copying the famous brie cheese, despite strict adherence to the recipe left by the monk.
But she invented a new type of cheese, which today is considered to be the younger brother of brie. At first it was called nothing less than Norman cheese. Over the centuries, the Camembert cheese recipe (as it was later dubbed) was perfected by the Areles family, increasingly adapting to local realities, until it took pride of place on the French cheese plate. This is the answer to the question: what is the difference between Camembert and Brie?
Interesting Camembert Historical facts
In 1863, Emperor Napoleon III tasted cheese from the village of Camembert and was pleased with the product.
After this event, the fame of Norman cheese spread throughout France, which forced the Areles family to urgently increase production and raised the question of how to transport the product while preserving its valuable properties.
Initially, straw was used to transport the cheese. Scientific and technological progress also contributed: the intensive construction of railways between Paris and the regions, which began in the second half of the 19th century, significantly accelerated the delivery of goods.
Only six hours on the road – and Camembert was delivered to Paris by rail, while retaining its freshness and aroma due to the fact that it was wrapped in straw.
At that time, this was the maximum possible transportation time for a delicate product; exporting it abroad was out of the question.
However, in 1890, the inventor Eugene Riedel developed special wooden boxes for these purposes, with the help of which long-term transportation of cheese became possible. This is how the taste of Camembert became known in the New World.
Moreover, this gave a large field for the development of the marketing component: bright branded stickers were placed on the cheese, by which the product was recognized all over the world.
Mold is mold, no matter how cultured it is. Many people think so, avoiding even trying delicious cheeses. But the skeptics just don’t know Camembert and Bree are useful, for real.
So, in the process of life, fungi break down milk protein, fats – this not only forms the taste of the product, but also facilitates its absorption by the body. Therefore, it is cheeses with mold that are recommended to be eaten by athletes, people after illness. Recent research suggests Camembert and Brie may reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
In addition, fungi partially affect the mineral compounds in the cheese, so calcium and phosphorus salts are absorbed much better. And fungi also produce a lot of B vitamins, saturating cheese with them. This means that the consumption of white mold cheese Camembert or Brie will have a beneficial effect on the nervous system, muscles, skin and hair, metabolism. Maybe this is the secret of the beauty of French women and the amazing character of the inhabitants of France?
But, despite all the benefits and amazing taste of such cheeses, many frightening myths have been formed around them. Mold is bad for health – that’s what these myths are based on. Absolutely unfounded when it comes to the cultures of Geotrichum candidum and Penicillium camemberti on cheeses. The centuries-old experience of the French, the opinion of Russian doctors – Brie and Camembert can be eaten by everyone, and in any (reasonable) quantities.
The exception is people who have problems with the intestinal microflora. In this case, Camembert and Bree may upset. But the same effect will be caused by kvass and any other “live” product.
Harm and contraindications
Due to its high fat content, Camembert cheese is not recommended for people who suffer from hypertension, high blood cholesterol levels, and overweight.
How to eat Camembert
With a well-deserved reputation as a premium product, Camembert’s soft white cheese is a versatile cheese that can be eaten in a variety of ways. This delicious soft cheese can be eaten on its own or as an ingredient in hot and cold dishes. Camembert lends sophistication and chic to even the simplest foods.
Delicious, soft cheese ideal for cold weather. Stock up on a couple of neat little lobs of cheese, sit back, light your favorite fireplace (you can even use an electric one or candles) and get ready to enjoy the piquant tenderness of a real Camembert from Zhukovka.
Camembert consumption rules
Camembert should never be eaten cold. Camembert’s full flavor, delightful aroma and fluid consistency are revealed only at room temperature, so it should not be served chilled.
It is better to take it out, cut it and set it aside for at least an hour so that the cheese has time to warm up in the warmth. In no case should you specially heat the cheese in the microwave, so as not to spoil the taste and not to destroy the beneficial lactobacilli.
Don’t cut Camembert into slices like hard cheeses, but into slices like cake. Do not forget that this is a soft and very delicate product that only holds its shape thanks to its hard crust. To prevent the core of the head from sticking to the knife, it is advisable to soak it in hot water before cutting. It is most convenient to cut the cheese before it is hot and does not stick too much to the knife.
Camembert’s crust is as edible as the pulp. Don’t cut it off and throw it away. Do not be afraid of the snow-white or grayish coating – this is the same penicillin mold that has saved millions of people over the past century.
What to eat with
Since Camembert has a delicate, piquant taste, the traditional way of serving it is a separate dish with complementary ingredients, for example, a fresh baguette with a crispy crust is perfect for cheese. Cut it into slices, drizzle lightly with olive oil and dry a little in a dry frying pan so that the bread is warm by the time it is served.
In addition to the baguette, it is customary to combine cheese with nuts and autumn fruits – slices of melon, apples or pears. You can serve grapes and other sweet berries to it, pour a slice of cheese with fresh honey or slightly sour berry jam. Delicate and at the same time, pungent, creamy pulp with each of these foods acquires new flavors. Try different options to find the combination that’s right for you.
It is best to drink Camembert with red or rosé wine, which can also be slightly warmed up. In this case, it is the wine that is served with the cheese, and not vice versa.
As you know, the consistency of Camembert depends on its degree of maturity. Having cut a head of young cheese, you will find inside a relatively dense core, which is only at the edges, near the crust itself, surrounded by a liquid layer. Half of a medium-ripened cheese consists of a fluid mass surrounding a dense core. Fully ripe cheese is a dry crust, inside of which is an intoxicatingly aromatic flowing core.
In a state of full maturity, Camembert is stored for only a few days, then begins to deteriorate. Therefore, if you have purchased cheese of this degree of maturity, you must eat it as soon as possible. Moreover, fully ripe cheese is the most useful, since it contains a particularly high concentration of lactobacilli useful for the stomach.
So, if you bought a ripe Camembert, put it on a dish and wait for the cheese to warm up. In the meantime, prepare croutons, cut and skewer pieces of fruit. Then with a sharp knife, open the top crust of the cheese head, like a can, remove and set aside. Spoon Camembert with a spoon, dip croutons or fruit on skewers in it and enjoy the unique taste.
Camembert gives a unique flavor to dishes that previously seemed the most common. Any dish will shine with new shades when using this ingredient.
Canape with Camembert
The easiest and most beautiful way to serve cheese to the table is to make a lot of tiny canapes with berries or fruits, literally “for one bite.”
This is a versatile option that allows everyone to enjoy the taste of cheese – and even those who have always been wary of varieties with mold.
Ingredients for Camembert Canapes:
- Mango, etc.
Camembert and coffee
In France, Camembert is often accompanied by a cup of strong coffee, and it doesn’t look quite usual. The liquid core of the cheese is scooped up with a spoon and put into coffee, stirring until completely dissolved. From the remaining crust and crispy croissant, make a sandwich, which is washed down with cappuccino. This makes for an excellent breakfast, filling and delicious at the same time.
The rich taste and aroma of Camembert are so good that they make it a desirable ingredient in many dishes. It is added to pies and pizzas as a filling, to soups – as a dressing; original salads and snacks are prepared on its basis. But most often Camembert is simply baked in the oven, seasoned with garlic and herbs.
To prepare this dish you will need:
- one head of cheese;
- one medium clove of garlic;
- a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme;
- a teaspoon of olive oil;
- ground black pepper.
- Turn on the oven in advance, setting the temperature to 180 ° C. In the meantime, remove the cheese from the packaging, carefully cut the top crust off the head and set aside.
- Lubricate the sides and bottom of a suitable round saucepan with oil, place a circle of oiled parchment on the bottom and lower the opened head there.
- Cut a clove of garlic into small slices and stuff them into the cheese using the tip of a knife. Then do the same with spicy herbs, previously disassembled into small branches.
- Pepper the prepared cheese to your liking, drizzle with olive oil and place in a preheated oven. Bake for about twenty minutes, until a golden crust forms on the surface.
- Remove the cheese from the oven, wait 5-10 minutes and serve until the dish has cooled. Top with chopped nuts, dates, candied cranberries, or other berries.
Camembert cheese salad
Salad is a simple and healthy dish that will always be appropriate on the table (it sounds better to the table). Fresh, light and tasty salad will perfectly complement any holiday or family dinner. In addition to the main ingredient in the recipe, you can use greens (arugula, iceberg, frieze or corn), avocado and pear. The standard dressing perfectly sets off the taste of herbs and cheese.
- Camembert cheese – 125 g;
- fresh sweet pear – 1 pc;
- avocado – 1 pc.;
- green salad – 1 bunch;
- lemon – ½;
- olive oil – 3 tablespoons;
- ¼ teaspoon salt.
Peel and cut the avocado. Treat with lemon juice. Prepare the pear – remove the skin and core, cut the pulp into thin strips and sprinkle with lemon juice. Cut the cheese into cubes about 1×1 cm. Mix all the ingredients in a deep bowl. Add greens to the prepared salad, after tearing it up with your hands.
A delicious, beautiful and healthy salad is ready!