Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Trying New Cheeses: Entry 9, Ile De France, Camembert

It may come as a surprise that I haven't tried Camembert cheese but it's true. Sure I've had Brie, a very close relative to Camembert, but they are NOT the same cheese as I was to learn. 

Ile De France, Camembert

Milk: Cows
Type: Soft 
Country: France
Region: Camembert, Normandy
Pasteurized: No
Description: Round mold rind with pale yellow creamy inside 
Claim to Fame: Issued to troops in WW1

HISTORY: Camembert comes from the town of Camembert in Normandy. It was first made in 1791 by Marie Harel following advice by a priest from Brie. Usually unpasteurized, but in modern times cheese producers use pasteurized milk for safety, Camembert is aged for at least 3 weeks. In 1890 a round wooden box started to be used to help distribute it over longer distances, namely America where it became popular. It became wildly known during World War 1, when it was issued to the French troops. Today Camembert is a one of the most well-known and loved Cheeses from France.

 TASTE: Camembert comes in a round wooden box, very similar to Brie. In fact, you have to look closely or you'll mistake the two. (Much like Edam and Gouda) When I opened up the wooden box I found the cheese was wrapped in a paper, again, just like Brie. UNLIKE Brie, the smell was VERY pungent, and unpleasant. However, once I unwrapped the cheese I noticed that it did not have the same smell and it apparently was all in the wrapping. The cheese was a pale yellow and covered in a mold, just like Brie. Camembert had been very Brie-like until this point but this is where the similarities stopped and the Camembert began to take on a personality of its own.

 The cheese itself was VERY soft, even softer than Brie. It would hold its shape when left alone but if you tried to pick it up, it would sag and droop. This made cutting into the Camembert different from Brie, I feel Brie holds its shape better. It was very soft and the cheese could be described as runny as it oozed out of the mold rind. The texture was extremely creamy and I could tell right away that using it for any sort of cooking would have been great because it wouldn't take much for it to melt.

 The taste was different from Brie. It was similar but the mold was far less noticeable, overall it was a nutty and earthy flavor with musty hints of mushroom. The rind itself was softer than the Brie rind and wasn't as firm. I decided to try it with the Brie favorite, a pear, but to my surprise it didn't go as well with it. It easily spread on a cracker and that was very tasty. It definitely melts in your mouth and I kept going back for more. Cutting it got tricky so use a long knife that will cut the entire length of the cheese.

Camembert had a good price of $2.25 for 4.5 oz. It was small but it's a specialty cheese as the flavor is so strong you won't need a lot of it anyway. I highly suggest Camembert for those Brie lovers out there. If you love Brie, then you'll ADORE Camembert. When compared to Brie, Camembert is softer, milder mold rind, and creamier with a stronger flavor. I give the Ile De France, Camembert a 9 out of 10, the only reasons it didn't get a perfect score was it can be difficult to cut and eat, and the simple fact is, you're still eating a mold rind. I'm glad they sell Camembert here in America because I would have no problem storming the beaches of Normandy to get this cheese, but that's just my two cents.

CHEESE FACT: Mozzarella is most consumed cheese in the world.

Thank you for reading and I hope you will check back with my next entry in this series!

Monday, August 17, 2015


Well how can I do an epic famous mustaches post and not follow up with an epic beard post??? I can't. So here are what I consider to be famous epic beards. If you didn't get a chance to read my epic mustaches post, you can see it here

Abraham Lincoln

Pout all you want, you know you should grow a beard.

A stone beard that will last forever. 
Quite possibly the most famous beard of all time, Ol' honest Abe's beard has gone down in history in several different ways. A little girl wrote a letter to the president suggesting he should grow a beard, Abraham Lincoln kept his beard and it survives to this day in the Lincoln Memorial. It also appears on the penny, the 5 dollar bill, and pretty much any likeness of President Lincoln. Kudos to him for never growing a mustache with it, (that would have been easy) but he kept his upper lip empty as he filled our nation with unity!

ZZ Top
Accepting awards for their beards BUT NOT YOU FRANK! 
If you want a hat and shades too Frank, just grow a beard! 

These little beardlettes would soon grow in some epic facial hair.

Ladies go crazy for a sharp dressed man...WITH A BEARD! The band ZZ Top took the music world by storm because of their beards. At least that's what I always thought. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard...............Frank Beard is the one without a beard btw, can you believe that? Talk about ironic! That should be the ultimate example of irony when children learn about it in school, the teacher should just take out a picture of these 3 guys and say, "Look at the loser without a beard, his name IS Beard." I'm not sure why he refused to grow a beard and I don't know why he wasn't kicked out of the group because of it, but hey, it's not my band. He should have the biggest and best beard of the whole bunch but instead he has lived his life as an outsider. Anyway, they made a cameo in Back To The Future part 3 and their beards really made them fit into the scenery of the old west.

Edward Teach
Thousand yard stare right there...

A little flamboyant but still, nice beard! 
 An epic beard immortalized!
Speaking of the old west, we now head to the high seas for the next epic beard worn by none other than Black Beard The Pirate. If you are so well-known for your beard that it becomes your have an epic beard. Edward was a notorious pirate and his beard was just as famous, he even lit fuses in it when going into battle to scare his enemies. Although a force to be reckoned with, he didn't treat his captives all that badly (for a pirate that is) and most of our pirate stereotypes come from Black Beard.

Brett Keisel 

There have been many wonderful beards throughout the years of the NFL, especially when they are grown for the playoffs, but one player has his year round. Brett Keisel of the Pittsburgh Steelers sports this massive man beard under his face mask every season. It might be the best beard in sports but one thing is for sure, it certainly is unrivaled in the NFL. 

General James Longstreet

Not one but TWO statues? What a beard!
Tom Berenger as Longstreet and his beard in the movie Gettysburg.
The civil war era had some great beards and mustaches alike, but only a few can be considered epic! Although General Lee and General Grant both had some pretty good beards, it was James Longstreet that I feel had the best. Just look how thick it was. If you don't know who Longstreet was, he was General Lee's right hand man but he strongly disagreed with the tactics at Gettysburg. Well, we all know that General Lee pretty much did what he wanted and ignored Longstreet, causing the major loss at Gettysburg. Many people blamed Longstreet for the loss but with a beard like that how can you stay mad at a guy?? 

Frederick Douglass

His beard may have faded with time, but now it will last forever.
There aren't too many men as awesome as Frederick Douglass. He didn't always have a beard but once he began to grow one in his younger years, he kept it and as you can see, it grew on him. (Not originally meant to be a joke) He was born a slave but died a fee man and he let his beard go down into history as he worked hard to become, what many believe to be, the first Blackman accepted by white society. He was a close friend and advisor to President Lincoln. I have to wonder if they ever talked about their beards...I'm sure it came up at least once. 

The Duck Dynasty Family

Hey, ZZ Top! And the beardless guy finally has grown one...oh wait...never mind.

You don't want to meet these beards in a swamp at night.

Now here is a family that beards together...if that's a verb and I don't think it is, BUT it should be! Phil, Willie, Jase, and Si Robertson all have epic beards and what's more, they are proud of them! They sure can grow them in that family! Maybe eating duck meat helps beards to grow or maybe it's the climate of the wetlands that does it, either way they all have famous epic beards. 

Karl Marx


This statue is all beard, just like Karl Marx.
Is that an Aborigine? No! It's just historical trouble maker Karl Marx! When Karl Marx wasn't busy inventing Communism, he was busy growing his epic beard! He pretty much always had it and I think if he would have called it, "Beardism," instead of, "Marxism," there would have been more followers. He really had a working man's beard, a beard of the people, a beard that could be shared! There are actually multiple statues of this guy and his epic beard. 

Shout out to his buddy Friedrich Engles. I guess sitting around all day thinking up socialism does a beard good?

Kimbo Slice

Before he was getting his ass kicked in the ring, he was kicking ass in back yards as this homeless brawler took his beard from neighborhood to neighborhood looking for fights. I guess he had a beard because of the whole homeless thing instead of growing it for fashion but even when he started to make money for professional  MMA fighting, he kept his trademark beard. I will say it does make him look more menacing. 

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin certainly had a beard that he must have been growing for a long time, or should I say evolving? Honestly, I think he looks like a monkey...not sure if that's poetic justice or just plain ironic but either way I think he would take me saying he resembles an ape as a compliment. Doesn't he remind you of Santa Claus? Good thing he wasn't or he would have shot Rudolph for being the weakest of the reindeer...or wait....would he have considered Rudolph to be the next step in reindeer evolution and therefore superior to the others??? I'm sure he could explain it to me if he were here but I'd be too busy staring at his beard! 

Hans Langseth

GAME OVER. Now THAT is a beard! In fact Hans has the longest beard in history, 18 feet, 6 inches! He may be dead but his beard will never be forgotten. If your beard touches the ground you don't need anyone telling you it's epic. He was known as King Whiskers, and truly he was the king of beards. There is just no topping that folks. 

Sorry Darwin, when it comes to beard survival, HE was the fittest.