Author Topic: Store bought Camembert  (Read 3261 times)

Offline RadioFlyer

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Store bought Camembert
« on: December 18, 2009, 09:47:13 PM »
I got desparate to try a cam and found one at Aldi's of all places. Can I further ripen it yet? If so, should I leave it in the box or rewrap in cellophane or something?
Kim Miller - Cloven Trail Farm - SE Ohio


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2009, 01:18:37 AM »
When my parents returned from a 6-year stint in France, they brought with them a peculiar French habit; they would feel the Camembert in the market (or store) for ripeness. "Just like a fruit" as they would explain. "Some people like their fruits hard and tangy, other like them overly-sweet, and mushy, but most like them ripe spot-on. So it the deal with Camemberts". In other words, the spot-on point for Camembert is not the part where the mass of cheese is dense and mild flavored, or the point where it's so ripe that the inside is just a goo with slip-on skin of rind.  The spot-on point is right in between, when the outer third is still visibly dense, white and mild, and the remaining 2/3 core of the cheese is this nice creamy tang.  ...and it feels just like ripe fruit when you slightly squeeze it to figure out the texture.

But as it also often happens with fruits, you can't seem to find a really nice one that is ripe and ready to eat so you end up buying unripe fruit and wait a few days.  Coming home from school, I would often find a Camembert on top of the fridge, just waiting there for the right squeeze.  Usually not more than 3-5 days at an average 70F temperature. Sometimes if it was too hot, it would be in the fridge for up to 7 days. (top shelf - not as cold)

So the short answer to your question - yes.
- A word of advice; get some cheese paper instead of cellophane. It breathes but keeps enough humidity in to do its job.
- Also ...just as with fruits (again), don't open, munch and attempt to further ripen.
- If the cheese is fairly soft at room temperature, don't ripen any more. It will get mushy and too strong and perhaps the smells of Ammonia.

Offline RadioFlyer

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2009, 09:35:50 PM »
Would plyban work to wrap it in?
Kim Miller - Cloven Trail Farm - SE Ohio

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 07:42:27 PM »
the cheese you purchased is very likely stabilized so it will not ripen.  The cams and bries in France would have been traditional makes and could be ripene din this manner at home. 

Search for stabilized cheeses for an explanation on the process (it's to white mould cheeses as pasteurization is to raw milk).

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009, 11:18:13 AM »
I always thought that stabilized Camembert is typical for large scale mass producers .These also have this lackluster bland flavor and a texture that feels like a butter flavored chewing gum (Flora Danica?).  They do this to extend shelf time and produce consistent predictable cheese flavor/texture to gain repeat customers.

Not everyone does that though; go for small, local artisanal producers and farmers markets, or cheese shops that sell high quality stuff. The ones I buy are usually from small artisanal producers and are not stabilized; Many of them are religiously against it.  I do buy the higher quality cheeses and ripen them at home.

RadioFlyer, Here are good reads for you:
http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/jgf/2000/0700/
http://www.mouco.com/mouco-in-the-news-mainmenu-134/134-cheese-market-news-brie-camembert-bring-royal-heritage-to-us-cheese-market.html

 


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Offline RadioFlyer

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2009, 10:32:10 PM »
That you all for your replies. And just to report, I left it out for 3 days and cut it today because it wasn't getting any softer. The inside tasted pretty good but the white rind tasted slightly like ammonia smells. Maybe I can find a better quality cam and try again.
Kim Miller - Cloven Trail Farm - SE Ohio

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2009, 01:27:28 AM »
Sorry to hear that. I guess you did purchase a stabilized one. I get all of mine as original OAC Camembert of Normandie from reputable cheese shops like Murray's, Artisanal, Fairway or Zabar's in New York City, (Whole Foods is excellent as well), I manage to ripen those; perhaps the AOC designation is contingent upon not stabilizing the cheese. Otherwise I get very good local cow and goat Camembert from the farmer's market - which I suggest you do too. At the market you have the great benefit of talking to the cheesemaker and his farm workers and asking them if the cheese is stabilized or if it will ripen, when was the cow milked? When was the cheese aged? (21 days is the ideal time to eat it)

Better yet... make one. They are not difficult to make, I have 5 aging here right now (3 cow's, 2 goat's)

Here are links to three of these excellent shops that do a fair amount of business online. Get it here
http://www.murrayscheese.com/
http://www.artisanalcheese.com/
http://www.zabars.com/cheese/Cheeses,default,sc.html (Watch the cheese of the week video!)

Good luck!

Offline RadioFlyer

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2009, 08:10:20 PM »
Thank you very muchly for the links! Definitely going to browse around them but since I now have a new wine fridge / cheese cave, I am going to tackle my own goat cam before my doe gets dried off before kidding season. 
Does a good cam really taste as good as they look?? Makes me salivate looking at good cam pics! :P
Kim Miller - Cloven Trail Farm - SE Ohio

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2009, 10:51:40 PM »
I only purchase the camembert and brie once and I did not like the rubbery skin and the hard inner cheese was also very dense and chewy. I did sort of like the inside of the crottins I made but still didn't like the white moldy rind part. I guess I am just to used to the hard and semi hard cheeses this soft cheese might take me some getting used to.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2010, 07:37:22 PM »
So... did you get your Camembert?

I really love their rind but than again, I grew up on the stuff. I have not even seen American Cheese until I was 20 or so...

Debi ...if you like Crottin and not a big fan of the rind:
Radioflyer ...if you like Goats' camembert:
  I suggest two delicious cheeses to try out and get inspired. The first is Humboldt Fog, made by Cyprus Grove Chevre,  crottin-like cheese but about 30 times the size. It is soft, young, complex and just fun to eat. It features a signature soft with ash running through its center.  The second is French made Boucheron; It's a tangy goat's cheese that has white bloomy rind but it made in the shape of a long log, about 5" diameter. It is then sliced to individual cheeses (often in the store); each one about the size of a small Camembert, but because it is sliced fromt he log, it has no rind on the bottom and top - only around.  If you live anywhere near a Whole Foods Market or any respectable cheese merchant you will be able to get them by name.


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Offline RadioFlyer

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2010, 08:24:23 PM »
Do either of those cheese require a press? I haven't been able to fit one of those in the budget yet. I'll look them up tho, they sound very good. Thank you!
How I wish we had a whole food store anywhere nearby.  :'( I'd love to sample some. I thought about ordering some but that's pretty expensive.
Kim Miller - Cloven Trail Farm - SE Ohio

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2010, 08:34:03 PM »
Thanks IRF. I have been meaning to find that humbolt Fog Francois says it's one of his favorites. I did find a Whole food Store about an hour from here a few weeks ago. I couldn't even get near the cheese section. Everything was so close and hard to navigate. Very pricey store! I did get a big  bundle of some beautiful fresh dill and basil though.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2010, 02:03:51 AM »
RadioFlyer, Debi where do you guys live? Maybe I can find it for you.

Expect to pay $12-$16/Lb. for Boucheron (normal cheese size would be $5.00 on average)
Expect to pay $16-$32/Lb. for Humboldt Fog. They do not sell in small sizes. Cypruss Grove do make a mini size (I think it's 6" diameter by 3" height or so). Many stores sell half of a mini which should cost around $12-$18. It is a lot of cheese though. I actually prefer the mini size because then you get much more of that nice ashed rind per volume of cheese.

RadioFlyer, these would not require cheese press to make as far as I know. I think all of these soft cheese are simple drained curd. I think that you may be able to find a recipe for Boucheron out there, (or at least a decent reverse-engineering version of it by someone who figured it out). Humboldt Fog however is a private and propitiatory trade name owned and trademarked by Cypruss Grove. I think they protect this formula better than Coca Cola.

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2010, 12:44:03 PM »
I have eaten, but never made, Bucheron.  I would start with a sloppy cam curd (goats' milk) and add PC and a french flavor mix like PLA or OFR.  Age as you would a cam or brie.  The result would be very close to the cheese I have had.

Humboldt Fog is a pre-drained chev that is then loaded into larger molds.  There is nothing secret about that, the hard part is how they handle such a large, fragile piece of cheese without fracturing it (it has to be flipped to grow the PC on it).  For this cheese I would use PC only.  Stay away from any yeasts.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Store bought Camembert
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2010, 01:34:55 PM »
That is exactly the secret about the Humboldt Fog Francois, the mysterious technique!

As for the boucheron; PLA contains B.Linens - I don't remember any red molds on it. Is B.linen only red on cow's milk? (I know cow's milk contains beta carotene which doesn't exist in goat's milk)