But now one of the most well known cheese makers in the region has challenged some top chefs to come up with original recipes using traditional cheeses like Camembert and Pont lâ€™Eveque.
Cheese maker Thierry Graindorge, head of the family run firm of the same name in Livarot, asked Michelin star chef Anthony Caillot from Contre Sens in Caen and three Michelin star chef Alain Passard of ArpÃ¨ge in Paris to create some new dishes.
Normandy cheese are much appreciated on a cheese plate in every kind of restaurant and in many French homes but Mr Graindorge wanted to show that they can be an ingredient in the best cuisine too.
For the last three years he has invited key Norman leaders to visit the cheese factory and explain the production of its four best selling cheeses Livarot, Pont lâ€™Eveque, Camembert and Neufchatel.
This time he wanted to do something different and enlisted the help of the chefs, challenging them to create dishes flavoured with Camembert and Pont lâ€™Eveque.
The result was veal tartare with Pont lâ€™Eveque, grilled sweetbreads with Camembert, spinach and brown butter, Pont lâ€™Eveque with honey and sherry, Camembert with smoked eel and crÃ¨me brulee with Camembert and Madagascar vanilla.
Mr Passard said he loved the challenge and said that the secret was to use the strong tasting cheeses with a light touch. â€˜I love the use of the cheese. It is an interesting combination of taste and smell. You need to get the balance right. Just a touch, a bit like adding a spice at the end, it has to be a hint of the flavour,â€™ he explained.
Mr Graindorge was delighted with the result. â€˜It gives back some panache to our Normandy cheeses by using them as ingredients. You discover a hint of the taste and the smell of Camembert and Pont lâ€™Eveque,â€™ he said.