Normandy's famous cheese, a gastronomic emblem par excellence, takes its name from the village near Vimoutiers, in the Orne region.
When you visit this little corner of paradise, between the Pays d'Auge and the Pays d'Ouche, you will find yourself in the true Normandy, with all its flavours. Camembert is one of those villages that are a pleasure to explore and photograph, and the Camembert sign at the entry to the village is certainly photogenic. Don't miss the Président Farm, to learn about the production of Camembert, which has the AOC label (Appellation d'origine contrôlée) since 1983. The story goes that the recipe for Camembert was developed in 1791 by Marie Harel, the wife of a local farmer, with advice from a priest from Brie (east of Paris, and also famous for its cheese). The surrounding area, with its protected environment far from the noise of the town, is full of discoveries : its quiet dales with their verdant pastures, orchards and half-timbered manors are an invitation to linger, and enjoy the sensation of perfect peace.
Worth a visit
The Président Farm : To learn all about the Pays d'Auge and how Camembert is made.
La Maison de Camembert (House of Camembert) : Round and white, from the outside it looks like a half-open box of Camembert. During the summer it is a display centre.
Le manoir de Beaumoncel : This fine old manor-house is typical of the Pays d'Auge, and was the home of Marie Harel, who is said to have hidden a priest here during the French revolution. He gave her a recipe for cheese, to which she added her own ideas, to produce the first Camembert.
La Héronnière Farm - Fromagerie Durand : Whatever you do, don't miss the last dairy farm in Camembert producing the true A.O.C. camembert from raw milk, hand moulded with a ladle in the traditional way.
Around about ...
La Camembertière : A restaurant in CHAMPEAUX which specialises in dishes made with Camembert ... .and more, where tradition rubs shoulders with innovative cooking.
Visit the local producers : In Camembert and its area, visit the producers and discover their delicious local products : there is AOC cider and Calvados, of course, but also "poiré" (pear cider), cream, and tripe kebabs from La Ferté Macé, without forgetting the incomparable black pudding from Mortagne au Perche... all these succulent products are a gourmet's delight.
Le Sap : this little town with a mediaeval atmosphere has an ecomuseum, "From the apple to Calvados", where you will learn all about traditional methods of producing cider and eau-de-vie.