by Bernard Richard, Historian
Camembert is one of France's gastronomic emblems along with the baguette, champagne, coq au vin, wine and many other products that make up the French identity.
According to a well established, but undocumented, legend the cheese called camembert was created in about 1791 by a certain Marie Harel, a milkmaid whose statue was inaugurated by the French president in 1928 in the town of Vimoutiers, which is the administrative center down the road from the village of Camembert. Vimoutiers is in the Orme department in Normandy. The story goes that Marie, during the chaos of the Revolution, gave refuge to a priest who came from Brie, east of Paris, and that to show his gratitude the priest gave Marie the famous cheese recipe. But in fact much earlier, around 1705, Thomas Corneille, brother of the playwright Pierre, already wrote of the good cheese from Camembert.
The round boxes…