One of France's oldest cheeses, Pont-l'Eveque (pohn leh veck) takes its name from a village in Normandy, the region where the cheese originated centuries ago. Historians believe that its early name was Angelot, a cheese mentioned in a 12th-century document as the dessert served at all the best tables.
A washed-rind cow's milk cheese, Pont-l'Eveque was initially a monastery cheese, made by Cistercian monks from their own cows for their own sustenance. Gradually they began to sell the cheese beyond their walls. This story is a familiar one in Europe, where monasteries have a long tradition of cheesemaking.