For the French cheese connoisseur the search for the classic "stench" of a bloomy rind cheese (like Brie or Camembert) in America can be hopeless. This is because the traditional French versions are unpasteurized and under 60 days of age–which makes them illegal in the US.
Additionally, the legal pasteurized versions are not exactly well cared for in the supply chain on their way to the US retailers.They are always either insipid and boring or aging has gone too far and proteolysis (protein breakdown) causes the cheese to taste chemical due to the ammonia trapped in the rind and cheese paste. There is ripe and then there is poorly ripened. Yuck.
Some would say you must go to France to truly experience a proper Brie style. I have spent time in France eating cheese and would agree. However, hard truths are sometimes shattered at Caputo's. When I tasted our new fermier (French for farmstead, indicating all animals, feed and cheesemaking all happens on one farm) Camembert, I did a little dance while thinking to myself, "OMG. This is the one. This is what I have been waiting for. No need to wonder what I am going to write about this week."
After one squeeze of this perfectly tender Camemebert, friend and food expert Vanessa Chang aptly called it "boob-licious." The rind is supple, but not too thick with and even the paper, plastic and wood wrapper could not hide the funky aroma. Yep! This is that smell the French brag about. Garlic, raw broccoli and Brussels sprouts with sprays of sea water in the background.
Upon tasting, it does not disappoint. Quite simply, this is as good as cheese gets. It will not taste like this next week. Hopefully, in two more weeks the next round will taste like this again, but who knows? It is only $9.99 for a 250g (8.8oz) attractively packaged wheel. Pick one of these up to impress your Francophile friends or to scare the crap out of your more squeamish guests that you don't care to see back again.