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French Neufchâtel is a soft, slightly crumbly, mould-ripened cheese made in the region of Normandy. One of the oldest cheeses 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 usually sold in heart shapes; however it is also produced in other forms, such as logs. 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 an attempt to create a batch of 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. In the U.S., plain Neufchâtel cheese is typically sold in brick-like shapes, which are wrapped in foil and sold in paperboard boxes.
- ↑ "Neufchatel". http://www.cheese.com/Description.asp?Name=Neufchatel.
- ↑ "Merriam-Webster Dictionary entry for Neufchatel showing it contains less fat and more moisture.". http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Neufchatel.
- ↑ "Kraft website showing Philadelphia brand Neufchatel and indicating it has 1/3 less fat.". http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/Products/ProductInfoDisplay.aspx?SiteId=1&Product=2100061247.
- ↑ "Fankhauser, DB. "Neufchatel: An unripened cheese"". http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/Cheese/neufchatel/neufchatel.htm.