This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES in November 2014.
Sometimes you just need to eat a whole lot of something. Maybe it's a cold, brisk fall day. Maybe you just feel so empty on the inside. Maybe you're super hung over, and just can't deal with things like feelings, or, you know, anything.
Most of the time the best thing for a situation like this is cheese. True story: cheese solves a lot of problems, like hunger, or calcium deficiency, or the craving of cheese. And when you are in the mood for some gooey, decadent, mushroomy, lactic lovin', think no further than the wheel of perfection known as Camembert.
Camembert was introduced to the world way back when in the 1790s (which is actually infantile in the cheese world; so cute, so young, so tender) by a badass farmer femme named Marie Harel. Supposedly some priest from Brie—the land, not the cheese, but which happens to be the homeland of Brie, the cheese—gave her some pointers as to what she should be making with all her super rich cow's milk. So Marie was like, "Yo, father, what a great idea!" and she decided to make miniature Brie-style wheels that would ripen faster because they were so little and cute.
Like all cheese, Camembert is made by warming up some milk, adding some enzyme and rennet, and letting the thing coagulate. Then, with Camembert, you cut the curds into about inch-and-a-half cubes so that more of the whey is retained. The concoction is poured into molds, then flipped a few times in the first two days so that the remaining whey drains evenly. Then, the little guys are sprayed down with what will become the light, pillowy rind, and then left to age out for a bit so the paste gets all super gooey and dank and mushroomy, and so freaking good.
Back in the day, Camembert was only made from raw milk, but with the big old industrialization boom some gent named Ridel engineered wooden boxes to house the cheeses so that they could travel farther and last longer. Nowadays, almost all Camemberts come in those little wooden boxes, and if you are feeling particularly randy, toss the Camembert, box and all, into your broiler and let the top burn up. Remove carefully from the source of heat, cut off the top with a serrated blade, and you will have your very own bubbling mini vat of some tasty ass cheese that can make you feel better no matter what.
Trust me. Try it. You're welcome.