Oysters, Cheese and Sauces - who knew these things but chefs, fishmongers and dairy people?
Cheese: Our recent tasting of Soft-ripened Bloomy Rind Cheeses prompted questions from our tasters like "how are Camembert and Brie different anyway?" It was a question that had frequently flitted across my mind, but one that I had never seriously set out to research. So now was the time.
So here goes with some foodie trivia: Without any books on cheeses in my library, my first visit was the web - but as usual I found conflicting information but this is what I gleaned from my reading.
The modern day form of both Brie and Camembert that we get in North American s similar in that both are soft ripened and often made with similar bacterial cultures. The original French Brie has a long history, and was often required as a tribute by the French Kings. Camembert is named after the 18th century Norman village of Camembert, where its originator Marie Harel lived. The name was given to this cheese after Napoleon had enjoyed a sample presented to him by one of Marie's daughters in 1855.
After learning during my Vancouver Island Cooking Challenge 2011 that cheese makers from Vancouver Island produced the winner and both other finalists in the category of soft-ripened cheeses with bloomy rind at the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, I went out to find whether I could buy them locally at stores in my Yaletown neighborhood. I also became curious about the difference between Camembert and Brie and how one would differentiate them or decide that one brand was "better" than another.