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Isigny Sainte-Mère, the tasty present of Norman tradition

Why does Mimolette cheese have such a bright orange colour? Why does the affineur hit it with a small boxwood hammer? Why can connoisseurs distinguish Camembert de Normandie from other Camembert cheeses? Why is Isigny cream the only cream with PDO? Why is Normandy butter renowned worldwide?

Norman dairy products arouse both interest and passion.

The answers to all these questions can be summarised in two words: tradition and terroir, both concepts on which the ISIGNY SAINTE-MÈRE cooperative's renown is based.
Since it was established in 1980 by joining two local cooperatives, ISIGNY SAINTE-MÈRE has maintained its commitment to the region, its history and the traditional ways of producing dairy.

The cooperative only uses the best Norman milk, which is collected within an area of no more than 35 km and in less than 48 hours.

War and land
Let us dig into the answers to check it out. Mimolette was born orange and still is. It appeared in the seventeenth century, when, at war with the Netherlands, the French monarch Louis XIV prohibited importing cheese from the enemy and ordered the production of a native variety to compete with the popular Edam cheese. The result was a round cheese like the Dutch one: Mimolette. To differentiate it from Edam, achiote, the ingredient that gives it its characteristic and attractive orange colour, was added, and its rind was not waxed.

The small boxwood hammer has traditionally accompanied Norman affineurs. The noise generated by its tapping reveals whether the Mimolette piece has matured correctly or not.
ISIGNY SAINTE-MÈRE Camembert is sold at 4 different ripening stages. From more solid to more creamy, but always aromatic and delicious.
Camembert de Nomandie AOP, which is made from raw milk, shares its extraordinary unique, rich and full flavour with Isigny cream and butter, which is highly appreciated by dairy lovers. This is why the cream, which is up to 40% fat, also achieved the PDO.

In fact, not only the products mentioned, but also all those made by ISIGNY SAINTE-MÈRE are unparalleled, because they capture the essence of the region, its fertile land, which the unique mixture of salt water from the Canal and fresh water from the marshes has endowed with a unique composition, which is specific to this area; rich in mineral salts, trace elements and oleic fatty acids. The area's mild and humid climate completes the equation, covering Normandy with lush pastures.
Cows and weather
This is where another characteristic component of Normandy comes into play: the Norman cow. Legend has it that the Vikings introduced it to the region and, whether or not this is true, the fact is that this breed achieves an extraordinary yield from the juicy grass of the area, which it eats during the long periods when it grazes outside.

Each animal produces an average of 18 litres of milk a day, which is exceptionally rich in fat, protein and vitamins, and has a lactic flora that is typical of the Isigny Sainte-Mère terroir, which makes it particularly suitable for creamy and tasty products.

The farmers and managers of ISIGNY SAINTE-MÈRE know the treasure they hold in their hands to the extent that they call their milk the “white gold of Normandy”. Therefore, commitment to livestock welfare is part of the cooperative's philosophy.

As is respect for the time traditionally required for each product to give its best. Thus, Mimolette is allowed to age quietly in the cellar, sometimes for up to two years, whereas butter and cream rest for up to 18 hours, if necessary. Only slow ripening allows the delicious ISIGNY SAINTE-MÈRE products to show all their taste, aroma and texture.

To obtain one kilo of the spectacular ISIGNY SAINTE-MÈRE butter, approximately 20 litres of the exceptional local milk are used.