Camembert: Napoleon’s favorite cheese delicacy!


Camembert is among the most famous French cheeses, due to its fine flavor and delicate texture. The cheese is named after a Norman village where Marie Harel created this cheese in 1791.

A statue honoring its creator is erected in the middle of Camembert village. Legend has it that, in 1855, the cheese was presented to Napoleon and introduced as being from the village of Camembert. Napoleon adored the cheese. From that moment on, it became known everywhere as Camembert, Napoleon’s favorite cheese.

Its beneficial effects are partway explained by its contributions to a healthy gut microbiome. Camembert cheese is very rich in probiotics, the primary mission of which is to feed the healthy bacteria that colonize the large intestine or colon. In other words, probiotics are not microbes per se, but they actively contribute to the well-being of existing microbes by providing them with the food they need and enjoy.

In addition to this probiotic activity, Camembert exerts prebiotic effects, meaning that it contains bacteria that per se fuel the growth of other natural gut bacteria. In summary, cheese like Camembert contains its own microbiome that is able to positively impact the human gut microbiome via both pre- and probiotic activities.

(1) Firmesse O, Rabot S, Bermúdez-Humarán LG, et al. E Consumption of Camembert cheese stimulates commensal enterococci in healthy human intestinal microbiota. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2007;276:189-92.