September Events in Normandy #4 - Fête du Fromage, Neufchâtel, Seine-Maritime
Normandy has 4 regional cheeses of which Camembert is probably the most well known ... but one of the other 3, Neufchâtel is actually one of France's oldest cheeses having been made since 1035. This near 1000 year history is celebrated in a Fête du Fromage (Cheese Festival) in the town of its creation, Neufchâtel-en-Bray, in the Seine-Maritime department of Normandy. This year the festival takes place on September 15th.
Neufchâtel is a soft cheese made from cow's milk and traditionally made in the shape of a heart. It is however also possible to buy it as log shapes, known as a bondes and squares (carrés). It is similar in texture to Camembert, matured for 8-10 weeks and has a rich mushroomy/nutty taste.
So why the heart shape? It is said that French dairymaids fell in love with English soldiers during the 100 Years War (1337 – 1453) and created the heart shaped cheeses for them. I really hope that story is true!
The Neufchâtel Cheese festival will celebrate this cheese food markets, street parades and competitions. Visitors can meet the producers and get to taste the different cheeses they make.
Do you love French cheeses and if you do which is your favourite?
La Fête du Fromage Festival website (in French)
Neufchâtel from Cheese.com
Images from Seine-Maritime Tourisme
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