Marie Harel, the inventor of the Camembert, has in fact made her first ladled cheese in 1791. She couldn’t conceive that the Gillot Creamery would create a rigorous methodology whilst maintaining the hand-making process of each PDO Camembert. But then it is, however. The operating method of the PDO Camembert production is based on an authentic technology:
Milk collection, delivery taking and monitoring receive minute attention at every step of the way. Only the “best” milk delivered by producers who comply with the demanding specification is selected for the PDO.
Skimmed to achieve the ratio of 45% fat on dry matter, the milk is left to ripen for 16 hours. No sooner has it arrived than it is put to rest in order to become a perfect curd.
Arranged in large containers which are all subject to a time indication at the beginning of the moulding, the curd is cut. The majestic dance of the hoppers can then begin. They must abide with a precise timing during which they pour by hand with a ladle 5 successive curds at intervals of 50 minutes.
Fascinating mastery of gestures, of product handling and of organizational skills in order to pass and rotate each hooping according to imposed timing.
Moulds are then turned over to facilitate the natural draining and to take on their characteristic and unique shape.
Lightly salted on both sides and edges, Camembert chesses are stored in drying sheds for 14 days during which the rind appears. Turned over, monitored and tasted by the master cheese-maker who checks each day the proper ripening, the Camembert reveals its first flavours. At the end of these 14 days, each Camembert cheese is packed in its famous wooden box and then stored in cellar during one week to engage the ripening process. The Gillot Camembert is finally ready to be shipped then stored in amateurs’ refrigerators for a ultimate but crucial ripening period.
The entire process is managed by the hands of men only. Though Gillot is blessed with the most modern technology to fulfil temperature, hygrometric and health standards, no machine does or will intervene in the process…
No matter what the so-called “great names” of the sector may say…