Petit suisse (cheese)

Petit suisse (cheese)

Infobox Cheese
name = Petit suisse

othernames =
country = France
regiontown = Normandy , Auvilliers
region =
town =
source = Cows
pasteurised = Yes
texture = smooth, creamy
fat =
protein =
dimensions =
weight =
aging = ?
certification = N/A
:"For the region of Luxembourg called Petite Suisse, see Little Switzerland (Luxembourg)."Petit-suisse (meaning "little Swiss") is a French cheese from the Normandy region.

Production and use

"Petit-suisse" is a "fromage frais"; an unripened, unsalted, smooth and creamy cheese. It is made from cow's milk enriched with cream so that it has approximately 40% fat content. The cheese is then smoothed and drained in a centrifuge. A typical cheese weighs 30 grams, and is packaged in a cylinder approximately 4cm high and 3cm diameter.

"Petit-suisse" may be consumed with sugar, as a dessert with jam or honey, or salted and peppered with herbs. It is also used in meat stuffings. A mixture of "petit-suisse" and mustard is sometimes applied to rabbit to prevent the meat from degrading (falling apart) during cooking.

History and development

Contrary to what its name suggests, "petit-suisse" did not originate in Switzerland but in Normandy where, in the 1850s, a Swiss employee at a dairy in Auvilliers (Haute-Normandie) suggested adding cream to enrich the curd used for cheese.

Originally, it was sold in a thin paper wrapping and packaged in wooden boxes, six to a box. The cheeses weighed 60 grams each and were simply termed "suisse" (Swiss). Today, the cheeses are manufactured throughout France and sold as "double petit-suisse" (extra-small Swiss), "petit-suisse", and the larger "double-suisse" (double Swiss).


[ O. Courtois]

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