- French Cheeses
- Quality of cheese
- The French way of life
© V. RIBAUT / Les Studios Associés / CNIEL
Neufchâtel comes from the Pays de Bray and is named after one of the towns in the area. This is a soft-ripened, bloomy-rinded cheese made with whole cow’s milk. Farm-produced Neufchâtel must be made with raw milk.
This pretty cheese is known for its heart shape. It is said that during the Hundred Year’s War, the young girls of Normandy gave these cheeses as gifts to their British soldier sweethearts.
The cheese actually exists in six different shapes: Carré (square), Briquette (small brick), Bonde (log, 3.5 oz.); Gros Coeur (large heart, 21.1 oz.); Coeur (heart), Double-Bonde (double log, 7 oz.).
The cheese was given a registered designation of origin (AOC) in 1969 and a protected designation of origin (AOP) in 1996.
Neufchâtel has a bright white, downy rind that browns as its maturation progresses. The paste is yellow and creamy next to the rind, but it remains white and grainy in the center, especially in the larger sizes.
The rind gives off a delicious mushroomy aroma and the paste smells of cream. The texture is soft and melts in the mouth. One of the characteristics of Neufchâtel is a pronounced salty flavor. Younger cheeses have a creamy, mushroomy taste; their flavors become more powerful and hearty as the maturation process continues.