Operation Seduction: Neufchâtel Fermier
From the Bray country in Normandy, this cheese is a classic, and one of the oldest coming from the region. Neufchâtel Fermier has been in in the business of seduction for nearly a thousand years, with written reference dating back to the year 1035. They must be doing something right. Currently four farms and two co-ops are authorized to produce the real thing, its name and origin protected by official decree since 1969.
One of the special characteristics of this full fat raw cow's milk cheese, aside from the deliciously provocative shape of the moulds, is the way they coat it with a layer of finely ground sea salt after pressing, a step meant to control the flowering of the mold applied to the outside, a type of penicillin. This step gives a pronounced salty flavor to the cheese.
Neufchâtel Fermier is consumed in its local region as young as 12 days after being pressed, but here in Lyon, we normally see it aged from 1-3 months. Locals like it with cider, or a round wine to compliment the salty taste and bring out the flavor.
Labels: Winter 07-08