Coeur de Neufchatel is a gentle bloomy rind cheese from the north of France in the specific region of Normandie. It is famous for being heart shaped but can actually also be found in other molds such as cylinders and squares, and as such, is simply called ‘Neufchatel’. The signature form, however, dates back over 500 years to the Hundred Years War when a number of the French dairy maids fell in love with the English soldiers who were occupying their town. As a token of these budding romances, they shaped the cheeses in their care to reveal their tender emotions and intent.
Neufchatel is rich, velvety and creamy with mild mushroom notes and a hint of salt. It has become quite popular in North America as the ‘Valentine’ cheese and it therefore most often appears on an intimate cheese board served with champagne. Year-round, with any of the shapes, this cheese goes equally well for any occassion with a nice fruity red wine.