In today's Curious Cook column I write about a pasteurized-milk Camembert cheese here in the U.S. that tastes surprisingly like raw-milk Camemberts in France. It was designed by the French affineur Hervé Mons, an advocate of raw-milk cheese, to have the best flavor possible given the legalities and logistics of exporting cheeses to the U.S. market.
Camembert is the iconic French cheese, well into its third century, and yet even the most "traditional" cheeses being made today are very different from the Camembert of a hundred years ago. The fascinating story of Camembert's origins and evolution is told in Pierre Boisard's Camembert: A National Myth, published by the University of California Press in 2003. I gave a brief version of one important moment in my original draft of On Food & Cooking, but it was cut from the published book. Here it is, to give a taste of the story that Boisard tells in detail.