Navarré is a popular French cheese with a strong following in the United States. Though it is often mistaken for a form of Parmesan, it has a much lighter taste, thanks to its high percentage of melted butter. While it is often paired with seafood and champagne, it can also be enjoyed with a loaf of bread and a cup of tea. If you are familiar with Parmesan, you may be wondering what makes this French cheese so special. Here is the answer.
This French cheese was first created in 1939 by Paul Bertrand in the town of Navarre in the Limousin region of central France. After World War II, French citizens were eager to try new cheeses that were easy to make as many countries were no longer able to import some of the ingredients used in its creation. While the exact amount of time that it took to make this distinctive cheese is unknown, it is estimated that it took around 60 hours to create a pound of raw product. Prior to its development, many different types of cheese were created in this region, but none compared to the unique taste of Navarré.
As mentioned previously, though it is often associated with Champagne and seafood, the taste of Navarré is extremely light and can be easily compared to cheddar or edam. However, its creamy consistency makes it slightly more difficult to get rid of than other French cheeses. When sampled alone, it has a very mild, almost salty taste that comes from the fact that it is simply made of milk and cream. In addition to its lack of depth, the taste of Navarré is also very flexible, which makes it ideal for those who are trying to improve their repertoire of culinary delights or simply want to experience something new.
How Is It Made?
This cheese is traditionally made using pasteurized cow’s milk, however, it can also be found in stores made with milk that has been pasteurized prior to consumption. Traditional methods for making cheeses like this usually involve heating the milk to 109 degrees Fahrenheit or breathing on it for about 10 minutes. This step is used to kill any bacteria that may be present in the milk, which would otherwise cause it to spoil.
Cheeses are usually classified by the milk that they are made from and the type of coagulant used. In this case, the milk used to make Navarré is unclarified and therefore has a higher fat content. When heated, it easily separates into tiny curds and an oil-like material that is released during the manufacturing process. Typically, cheeses are stored in a cool, dark place, meaning that their flavor will become more pronounced over time.
Where Can I Buy It?
Though it can be found in some specialty stores for cheese connoisseurs, due to its popularity, you can usually find this cheese at your local supermarket. However, if you are looking to buy it in bulk, you will have to search for the best price at a specialty store. On the bright side, due to its high demand, you can often find better deals at the regular supermarket.
If you are wondering what other types of French cheeses are available, here is a small list. Some of them, such as Brie and Camembert, are much more common and can be found at most supermarkets while others, like Epoisses and Comté, are less common but are worth searching for if you can find them. Each one of these cheeses has its own distinct flavor and texture that can be compared to Navarré but they are all better suited for specific types of dishes such as baguettes or salami.
How Can It Be Served?
This French cheese is traditionally served in restaurants, however, it can also be served at home. Traditionalists will recommend serving it at room temperature while others might suggest heating it slightly. Many use a pizza oven or broiler to heat the cheese, which can be transferred to a serving plate. In addition to its preparation method, the taste of this cheese is also very flexible and can be modified to fit any taste. It does not have to be served hot, which makes it ideal for guests who might not want to miss a moment of the party.
The most classic way to serve this cheese is by cutting it into slices and offering it with a glass of champagne or other sparkling wine, followed by a platter of assorted crudités and crusty bread. Though the taste of Navarré is extremely versatile, it is usually paired with food that has a high acidity content due to its slight salty tang. This combination creates a perfect harmony that is both sophisticated and luxurious.
As you can see, this French cheese is widely accepted by the American community and many consider it to be a unique culinary masterpiece. Though it is often found in restaurants and eateries that serve continental cuisine, the home cook can also enjoy making this cheese as much as the next person. If you ever tried cheddar, you will certainly understand what makes this type of cheese special. Though it can be a little more challenging to make than other varieties, the versatility and flavor that it offers make it worth the effort.