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camembert [2013/07/15 09:20] (current)
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 +Lush, behedged, undulating, speckled with apple trees and half-timbered farmsteads: if you were a cow, Normandy is almost certainly where you’d choose to graze away your days. Camembert’s name is in the public domain. It can be made anywhere – Finland, New Zea-land, Ohio. But the real thing (“God’s feetâ€�,​ it has been called) must be made using untreated milk in one of the five Norman counties.
 +**Cheese strategy:** almost all camembert is produced in dairies these days. The Fromagerie St Loup (00 33-2 31 63 04 04), at St-Loup-de-Fribois,​ is a good one to aim for. There is, however, one farm producer left. François Durand’s Ferme de la Héronnière (02 33 39 08 08) is just along the valley from the hamlet of Camembert itself, where the peasant Marie Harel perfected the cheese recipe in the 1790s. You can show up to buy any time, but proper, free visits are available in July and August. Take a cool box if you don’t want the cheese to beat you home. Back in Camembert hamlet, the Ferme Président (02 33 36 06 60, www.fermepresident.com;​ £2) is a decent eco-museum introducing the full cheesy story.
 +**Stay and eat:** the plushest option is Château les Bruyères (Route du Cadran, Cambremer; 02 31 32 22 45, www. chateaulesbruyeres.com;​ doubles from £125 in low season, £150 high). Here, in the Empire-period mansion or the next-door manor house, you’re some way from peasant concerns. Dinner (from £40) might include camembert with hot oysters. Les Fermes de Florence (Les Fonciers, Les Champeaux-en-Auge;​ 02 33 39 15 56, www.lesfermesdeflorence.com;​ doubles from £100/​£125,​ B&B), hard by Camembert hamlet, has contemporary chambres d’hôte slotted into vintage bucolic surroundings. And – listen to this – second nights are free, with third and subsequent nights half price. Dine nearby at (of course) La Camembertière (Hôtellerie Faroult, Les Champeaux-en-Auge;​ 02 33 39 31 87; menus from £11).
 +**Getting there:** the region is just a few miles from the ports of Caen and Le Havre. Cross from Portsmouth or New-haven to Le Havre with LD Lines, or try Brittany Ferries to Caen.
camembert.txt · Last modified: 2013/07/15 09:20 (external edit)
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