Neufchâtel is a soft, spreadable French cheese, that’s similar to cream cheese, but firmer, and made with whole milk with no cream.
Despite the name of Neufchâtel, which leads some to think this is a Swiss cheese, this cheese is actually made in Neufchâtel-en-Bray area in Normandy, France.
The cheese has a slight tang to its taste.
Neufchâtel Cheese received its French AOC in 1977.
Making Neufchâtel cheese
Milk is heated to around 20 C (68 F), at which point rennet is added and the milk allowed to coagulate for 1 to 1 1/2 days. Unlike most other cheeses, the curd is not cut. It’s then hung in cloth bags to drain for half a day, after which pieces of mature Neufchâtel are added and the curd put into moulds and covered and salted. They are allowed to age for about 10 days, though they can be aged longer. The rinds develop a white powder on them, which is penicillium candidum. Cheeses are that aged longer will be slightly yellow with red spots on them.
It’s made in six shapes including a heart-shape.
Lower in fat than cream cheese as it is made from milk instead of cream. About 45% fat.
Per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Fat 23.43 g
Saturated 14.797 g
Cholesterol 76 mg
Carbohydrate 3 g
Fibre 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 10 g
Calcium 75 mg
First documented in 1543, though some date it back to the 11th century on somewhat tenuous evidence.
Though this was a fresh cheese, not capable of travelling long distances, getting the cheese to their customers wasn’t a problem for the producers: the markets of Paris were only 80 miles (130 km) away.