Updated on 8 March 2021
Reading time: 2 minutes
In Normandy, all four of the cheeses boasting the coveted PDO certification (‘AOC’ in French) quality label are also villages – Camembert, Livarot, Pont-l’Evêque and Neufchâtel. Visit these villages on the Normandy Cheese Route, find out how the cheeses are made and enjoy some tastings along the way!
France’s equivalent of the PDO certification, ‘AOP’ stands for Appellation d’Origine Protégée (protected designation of origin) and legally guarantees that the product in question was prepared in the place specified on the packet. Two thirds of Normandy’s cheeses come from cows put out to pasture on local grassland. Producers, manufacturers, restaurants, dairies and creameries all ensure a special experience along the Normandy Cheese Route, a route showcasing Normandy’s four PDO-certified cheeses, known in French as the Route des fromages AOP de Normandie. Find out about producer know-how, enjoy guided tours, see how the animals are looked after, learn how the cheeses are made and most importantly, buy products from the farm shop to take home!
There are so many dairies to visit, but we don’t want to milk the subject! Sorry, cheesy joke.
Some cheesy facts
- Neufchâtel is the oldest of the Normandy cheeses. In fact, during the Hundred Years’ War, the dairy maidens in the Pays de Bray would offer English soldiers this cheese in the shape of a heart as a token of their affection, hence its shape
- Marie Christine Harel, born in 1761 in the village of Crouttes (which means ‘crust’) is said to be the inventor of Camembert cheese
- There are over 600 farms producing PDO-certified cheeses in Normandy