market in the world. Located just outside
Paris, it sells such items as fresh produce,
fish, meat, cheese and flowers. According
to our tour guide, 95 percent of the
population consider gastronomy a part of
their culture, and 98.7 percent consider
it is important to maintain and transmit
heritage and identity through French
Cheese is one of the highlights of
French cuisine and part of the everyday
diet. After a meal, many would think
dessert would be the next course on
the menu, but in most cases, cheese is
brought out before dessert.
Professor Pierre Boisard, a guest lecturer
at Haute Etude du Gout, instructed the
class on Camembert cheese. According
to Boisard, it is one of the cheeses
for which France is most known.
Camembert is a tiny Norman village
where, according to legend, Marie Harel
invented the cheese in 1791.
Thanks to the railroad, Camembert
cheese traveled out of Normandy
and conquered the Parisian market.
Increasing demand for Camembert
incited producers to set cheese factories
outside Normandy, in particular, in the
east and center of France and in dairy
regions that were not producing cheese.
In the 20th century, Camembert cheese
became known worldwide and was
being produced in such countries as the
U.S., Germany and Denmark.
Camembert is a soft-ripened, flowery-rind cheese. A recipe of cow’s milk,
curdling, sowing with penicillium
and salting defines it. The taste is like
no other. It has a creamy-rich organic
texture that makes you feel as though
someone milked a cow, made the cheese
and handed it to you the same day.
Many French cheeses are labelled AOC
(Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée),
which means designation of controlled
origin by the government, which could
be local, federal or both. The AOC
left: Tamara Stelmach
hosted a cooking
demonstration at Monroe
Career and Technical
Institute after returning
from Haute Etude du Gout.
right: A temperature
controlled cheese aging
cave. Photos courtesy of