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 aroma and taste of mushrooms. Unlike other soft-white-rinded cheeses, Neufchatel 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, a New York dairyman, in the township of Chester, created cream cheese as the result of an attempt to create a batch of Neufchâtel. This American Neufchâtel is softer than cream cheese due to its approximately 33% lower fat and higher moisture content. In the United States, this Neufchâtel is sometimes called farmers' cheese.
Neufchâtel was commonly used in British forms of Cheesecake.