Camembert is a superstar, for good reason. An impressive stand-alone, and endlessly versatile, there are many ways to enjoy this iconic cheese. Compared to its cousin brie, Camembert is a smaller wheel with stronger, earthier flavors. Depending on ripeness, a Camembert will smell like mushrooms and earth, and taste like cream, garlic and cruciferous vegetables. After a short time aging, this cheese is ever-evolving. A single wheel will taste slightly different every day and offer exciting complexity every time.
At the peak of ripeness, a Camembert's rind should be bright white, dry, and soft. Before cutting, give the wheel a squeeze like the French do. It should feel soft and pudgy, but not liquidy. A cut Camembert should bulge but not run, and might have 2 distinct layers inside: a firmer center, and a softer creamline under the rind.
For the full experience, it must be savored at room temperature.
Classic pairings include fresh apples, baguette, bubbles, and hard apple cider - all traditional to Normandy, in Northern France, where this cheese was born.