One of the star French cheeses, a thick pale yellow paste in a strongly-flavoured rind, which crumbles into it. The ageing process increases the colour of the rind, from white to light orange. It comes in shallow square blocks.
Known since the seventeenth century as Pont l'Evêque from the village where its made, between Lisieux and Deauville in the rich pastures of Normandy, the style was known before that as d'angelot, and is recorded from the twelfth century, created by Cistercian monks. The earlier name was a coin, and reflects the fact that the cheese was used as local currency, for payments of taxes and tithes. Under this name it was mentioned in the epic Roman de la Rose in 1225.
In the fifteenth century it was the most highly esteemed cheese in France. It received its AOC (Appellation d'origine contrôlée) in 1976.
More at http://www.pont-leveque-aoc.org/fr/historique.html
Alternative ways of writing the name: hyphenated Pont-l'Évêque, capitalized L in L'Évêque, accent omitted on capital E. The French sources seem to vary among themselves. It means bishop's bridge.