What is the history behind heart-shaped cheese?

Believe it or not, the origins of heart-shaped cheese can be traced back over 500 years to a mediaeval village called Neufchâtel in Normandy, France. The tradition began during the Hundred Years War when some of the young dairymaids from the village began to fall in love with their English occupiers. As a token of their affection, the girls began moulding the local cheese, named after their village, into heart shapes and offering it as gifts to their soldier sweethearts. In more recent times, cheese makers across the world have also started to produce heart-shaped cheeses (including us here at Godminster!), but it’s roots will forever be found in that one little Norman village in the north of France.

What is the history of Neufchâtel cheese?

Dating back to the 6th century, Neufchâtel is believed to be one of the oldest types of cheese in France, named after the sleepy village from where it originated in Normandy. This area of France has always been renowned for its soft cheeses such as Livarot and Camembert, with Neufchâtel traditionally less well known than these popular neighbouring soft cheeses. It wasn’t until the 14th century, and the arrival of the 100 Years War, that Neufchâtel started to become famed for its now signature heart-shape. During the 17th century, Neufchâtel’s popularity spread to the cities of Paris and Rouen, and soon reached our shores where it remains popular to this day.

What does Neufchâtel taste like?

Neufchâtel boasts a granular, compact consistency and a thick interior, enrobed in a delicate, downy rind. Usually aged for 8-10 weeks, it has a tangy, nutty taste with a texture reminiscent of Camembert or Brie, featuring notes of mushrooms and a hint of yeastiness.

What is the history of Godminster heart-shaped cheese?

Back in 2013, the team here at Godminster were keen to continue the tradition of offering heart-shaped cheese as a token of affection, so we began to work on our own interpretations. We started with Brie – a close cousin of Neufchâtel – before introducing the multi award-winning heart-shaped organic cheddar as part of our popular Valentine’s Day range, which has gone from strength to strength ever since.

So forget flowers or chocolates this Valentine’s Day. If you really want to show that special someone just how much they mean to you, why not follow in the footsteps of the dairymaids of Neufchâtel and give your sweetheart some heart-shaped cheese? Because, as we all know, cheese really is the food of love.

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