I love cheese. In fact, I’m a cheese monster! So, one of the main reasons for visiting Normandy is to try some of the local cheese.
First stop on my cheese route is the village of Livarot. Here, the Village Fromager has been producing local cheese since 1910. The dairy makes 4 types of cheese:
• Livarot – a strong smelling, springy cheese with an orange rind, wrapped in strands of reed
• Pont L’Eveque – a square, white, soft cheese
• Neufchatel – a white, heart-shaped, soft and crumbly cheese
• Camembert – a round, white, soft and creamy cheese
There is a free, self-guided tour that uses videos, information boards and glass windows overlooking the factory to explain the cheese-making process from cow to box. It’s actually very entertaining and informative but I suspect that the factory workers find it rather distracting when tourists are taking photos of them. At the end of the tour is a shop and, having been allured by the smell of rich, ripe cheese, I feel compelled to try all the different types on offer. I decide to buy the Livarot cheese as I’m in the village of that name.
Next on the list is the tiny village of Camembert, nestled in the rolling pastures where the Normande cows graze happily and produce the creamy milk which is used to produce the cheese. Unfortunately the museum is closed but I did find the farm of Monsieur Durand where Camembert cheese is still produced by hand. A short video, presented by M Durand, gives and overview of the process and then you walk to the back of the building where you can see the cows being milked and the cheese in various stages of production. I leave with a box of freshly made camembert and immediately retreat to the motorhome where I have a picnic feast of local cheese.