Neufchatel is a traditional, soft-white, table cheese, originating from the village of Neufchâtel-en-Bray in northern Normandy. Made from cow’s milk, it is one of France’s oldest cheeses, dating back as far as 1035.
The cheese is made in many forms, shapes and sizes - bonde (cylinders), coeur (heart shape), carre (square shape) and briquette (brick shape). Legend goes that French farm girls fell in love with English soldiers during the Hundred Years War and started making heart shaped cheeses to show their love.
Granted AOC status in 1969, Neufchatel can be industrial, farmstead or artisanal. Artisanal Neufchatel has a grainy, close textured and thick paste covered with a soft, downy, velvety bloomy rind. Matured for 8–10 weeks, the taste and texture is reminiscent of a Camembert; mushroomy, rich, nutty and slightly yeasty.