Marie Harel created the original Camembert cheese from raw milk in Normandy, France, in 1791. Today, however, very few producers make cheese from raw milk with the same process as Marie Harel would have used. Those who produce cheese using Marie Harel's method can legally call their cheese Camembert Normandie under the AOC guidelines. However, the production of Camembert cheese has now transcended the AOC designation. Some varieties of Camembert cheese made from pasteurised milk can be found in Normandy. The best of them is the Camembert Le Châtelain.
The fresh Camembert cheese is bland, hard and crumbly in texture. Young Camembert has a milky and sweet taste. As the cheese matures, it forms a smooth, runny interior and rich, buttery flavour. The white bloomy rind is because of a white fungus.
This cheese is best paired with a light red wine such as Beaujolais, Chenin Blanc, St Emilion, St Estephe or traditionally a glass of Normandy cider.