|Country of origin||France|
|Region, town||Normandy , Auvilliers|
|Source of milk||Cows|
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Production and use
Petit-suisse is a fromage frais; an unripened, unsalted, smooth and creamy cheese with a texture closer to a very thick yogurt than a typical cheese. It is made from cow's milk enriched with cream so that its dry solids contain approximately 40% fat content (around 10% in the actual product eaten). The cheese is then smoothed and drained in a centrifuge. A typical cheese weighs 30 or 60 grams and is packaged in a cylinder approximately 4 cm high and 3 cm diameter or 5 cm by 4 cm in the larger size.
Petit-suisse may be consumed with sugar, as a dessert either on its own or 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 drying 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 called simply "suisse" (Swiss). Today, they are made throughout France. Though the 60g version is often seen labelled "petit suisse", the term is sometimes reserved for the 30g ones, the larger ones then being referred to as a double petit-suisse, double suisse or suisse double.
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