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A famous semi-soft cows"-milk cheese from the Normandy area of Northern France.

The cheese, has been produced in this form since 1790, when it"s said to have been perfected by Madame Harel, a local farmers wife - the cheese is named after a village of the same name. It was given AOC status in 1983.

Like Cheddar, it"s now made all over the world, but, by law, its place of origin must be indicated.

The best Camembert is available between November and May, when cheeses have been made from the most lush grass, and have had time to mature - this varies from two to three weeks, depending on the type and quality being produced.

When ripe, cheeses should be creamy, yellow in colour, and supple - so giving to finger pressure. There should also be a slight smell of mould, but never ammonia.

Best of all is Camembert fermier, made from unpasteurised milk.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards.

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