Norman cheeses 

The pont-l'évêque

(AOC since 1976)

A pont-l'eveque
A Pont-l'Evêque

Description

Type Washed rind cheese
Milk Cow milk
Aspect Square of 11 cm, 3cm thick.
350 to 400 gr.
45% of fat.
White and grey rind with thin orange and/or light brown stripes.
Country Pont-l'Évêque countryside

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History

The origin of this cheese is a sort of mystery. It is generally thought that it was created by monks in the Auge country but in fact the early history of this old cheese is unknown. It was sold under the generic name of "Angelot", a name that was shared with other Norman cheeses. It is mentioned during the XIIIth century by Guillaume de Lorris in the "Roman de la Rose". At the beginning of the XVIth century, it is known that cheeses resembling the Pont-l'Evèque were commonly eaten in Paris.

In 1660, a poem was dedicated to this cheese by Hélie le Cordier "l'augelot y est fait avec tant d'art que jeune ou vieux, il n'est que crème". The word "augelot" is a pun on the "angelot" name and the name of the Auge river. At that period it obtained its name, which is the name of a small town in Normandy between Lisieux and Trouville.

In 1722, Masseville explains that "fromages de la region de Pont-l'Évêque sont "fort estimez et transportez en divers pais" the cheeses of Pont-l'Évêque are appreciated and carried to numerous places. Another text mentions that the Pont-l'Evèque was able to overcome the problems linked to the transport of goods at that time.

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Old Pont-L'évêque label
Old pont-l'évêque label

Making

  • The milk is heated (never above 40°C) and rennet added to make the milk curdle.
  • The curd is cut and stirred in order to drain off the whey.
  • It is then moulded.
  • It is then matured in an "hot" room (22°Celsius) and frequently turned upside down.
  • Once the whey is drained away, the cheese is placed in a "cold" room for five days where it is turned daily.
  • Then it is salted. The Pont-l'Évêque is washed and brushed many times.
  • It is then matured in a cellar and regularly tuned upside down
  • The white colour of the Pont-l'Évêque slowly turns to a light yellow with light brown strpes.

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Links, addresses and information

Syndicat des fabricants du Pont-l'Évêque et Livarot
82, rue de Bernières
14000 Caen
Tél: +33 (0)2 31 85 50 93
Official Pont-l'Évêque web site