|Country of origin||France|
|Region, town||Normandy, Neufchâtel-en-Bray|
|Source of milk||Cows|
|Aging time||8–10 weeks|
|Related media on Wikimedia Commons|
Neufchâtel (pronunciation: nøʃatɛl) is a soft, slightly crumbly, mold-ripened cheese made in the Neufchâtel-en-Bray, French region of Normandy. One of the oldest kinds of cheese in France, its production is believed to date back to the 6th century. It looks similar to Camembert, with a dry, white, edible rind, but the taste is saltier and sharper. It has the aroma and taste of mushrooms. Unlike other soft-white-rinded cheeses, Neufchâtel has a grainy texture. It is most usually sold in heart shapes but is also produced in other forms, such as logs and boxes. It is typically matured for 8–10 weeks.
In 1872, William Lawrence, a New York dairyman of the township of Chester, created the first American cream cheese as the result of adding cream to the recipe for Neufchâtel. This American Neufchâtel is softer than regular cream cheese due to its approximately 33% lower fat and higher moisture content. Due to this reduced fat content, it is found in most grocery stores as a reduced-fat option to cream cheese. In the United States, this Neufchâtel is sometimes called farmers' cheese.
- Jeffrey A. Marx, "The Days Had Come of Curds and Cream": The Origins and Development of Cream Cheese in America, in Journal of Food, Culture and Society, Vol. 15, Issue 2, June 2012.
- "Merriam-Webster Dictionary entry for Neufchatel showing it contains less fat and more moisture".
- "Kraft website showing Philadelphia brand Neufchatel and indicating it has 1/3 less fat". Archived from the original on 2009-05-18.
- "Fankhauser, DB. "Neufchatel: An unripened cheese"".
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