Visit the village of Camembert for a glimpse of the authentic, old, rural Normandy, where life is based around agriculture. The delightful slope-side settlement stands near the town of Vimoutiers, between the two lovely country areas of the Pays d’Auge and the Pays d’Ouche. Camembert village, with traditional farms surrounded by pastures and orchards, plus a church as dappled as the local cows, makes an extremely picturesque sight.
As to Camembert the cheese, it is inextricably linked to the village. There are several places in and around the parish where you can learn more about the famous fromage, as well as tasting it. The most popular story about the creation of Camembert cheese is that it was developed in 1791 by Marie Harel, the wife of a local farmer. This was at the time of the French Revolution, and it is said she was very much helped in her endeavours by a priest hiding out in these parts, but who had fled his native area of Brie, outside Paris, already known for its cheese-making. During World War I, Camembert cheese was supplied in vast quantities to the French troops, making it a much-appreciated national symbol. Camembert cheese from Normandy received its protected appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) status back in 1983.
Once you’ve visited the village of Camembert, head out into the verdant dales around it to enjoy further idyllic, peaceful Normandy countryside. This is an enticing area for foodies to go in search of fine cheese, cider and Calvados apple brandy. Also look out for farms producing poiré, pear cider, and other local specialities.