We’re crazy for camembert! This soft bloomy cheese is the perfect addition to any cheese platter or recipe in need of a creamy boost.
What is Camembert?
Camembert is a cow’s milk cheese produced in Normandy, a region in the Northwest corner of France. Camembert has a creamy, runny interior contained within a natural, edible, white-mold rind. The flavor can be described as earthy, almost mushroomy.
Camembert vs. Brie
These two cheeses are remarkably similar, often being confused with one another. Both camembert and brie are made within the same region. They both have that characteristically white-mold rind with creamy interiors. Camembert has a noticeably more intense flavor than brie, brie being more ‘buttery’ than earthy. Camembert is also more dense than brie; brie is the runnier of the two cheeses. The amount of added cream varies between the two cheeses, brie having 60% milkfat and camembert containing 45% milkfat. Camembert cheese wheels are smaller than brie at about 5 inches in diameter, while brie wheels range between 9 and14 inches.
Camembert and brie can be used interchangeably in a recipe. We love the umami boost that camembert adds to our cheese-centric dishes. Here are a couple of our favorites, where either brie or camembert work wonderfully: Cranberry Baked Brie and Apple and Brie Stuffed Turkey Cutlets.
How is Camembert Made?
Camembert is made using either pasteurized or unpasteurized cow’s milk. Yeast cultures and special cheese-specific bacteria are blended into the milk (the yeast and bacteria help enable the rind development). The milk is then warmed and blended with rennet. Rennet is a natural enzyme that allows the milk to curdle. The curds are cut, the whey is drained, and the remaining mixture is poured into moulds. Camembert is aged for a minimum of 4 weeks, being turned regularly to promote even rind development. The longer camembert ages, the softer the texture and stronger the flavor.
Buying, Serving, and Storing Camembert
Classic camembert can be found in most grocery stores and cheese shops. Refrigerate camembert, in its original packaging, until ready to serve. Allow camembert to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any leftover cheese, wrapped in wax paper or parchment. Camembert will keep, refrigerated, for a couple of weeks.