back the History of Neufchâtel Cheese
Supporters of this cheese claim that it is the oldest Norman cheese. They argue that a text from the year 1035 A.D. mentions the production of cheeses in the Neufchâtel-en-Bray (France) countryside. In fact, it was born "officially" in 1543 in the ledgers of the Saint-Aman Abbey (of Rouen) where a cheese was termed Neufchâtel. At that point the cheese was probably already maturing in the cellars of the Abby and was covered naturally with penicillium candidum.
It has been known since the Middle Ages that the Neufchâtel cheese came in many shapes, depending on fashion or simply on the moulds the maker owned ! It is said that the heart shape was due to the young Norman women at that time who wanted to express discreetly their feelings to the English soldiers during the wars in the Middle Ages.
In the process of cheese making a lot of moisture is added to the product, which ensures low fat content and a soft structure.
Though fat content may vary ~ from 20 to 45 % - the cheese is always very delicate and soft.
When young, it has a slightly-salt flavor. On ageing it becomes more pungent.
In addition to the six traditional shapes, there are many variations of the Neufchâtel cheese.
Since 1969 Neufchâtel cheese made in France has an Appellation d'Origine Controlee status.
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