Fromage blanc is a fresh, unripened soft filata. It is made by curdling raw or pasteurized skim cow milk, sometimes from goat milk, with or without pressing. Fromage blanc is traditionally made by leaving the milk in the refrigerator until the cream separates and floats to the top. This cream and buttermilk is removed before draining. The white paste has a semi-liquid consistency that is creamy and soft. It differs from fresh cheese, which is much firmer.
Fromage blanc is a soft cheese that is sold in many formats in France: in basket-shaped molds (faisselle), jars or tubs, molded, or whipped. A choice of fromage blanc can be made based on fat content, which varies between 0 and 40 percent.
Fromage blanc varieties containing more water may need to be drained before use.
If a preparation containing fromage blanc requires cooking, a little cornstarch (cornflour) can be added so that it holds its consistency better.
Fromage blanc can be eaten by itself, plain or sweetened (with honey, jam, or coulis). It can also be used to make savory preparations (with herbs and spices) or desserts. Certain regions of France, such as Alsace, Lorraine, and Moselle, count fromage blanc tarts among their specialties.
Fromage blanc can keep for a few days after purchase in the refrigerator. Take note of the expiration date or of its appearance.
Fromage blanc made from whole (full-fat) milk is a good source of calcium, protein, and phosphorous. Nonfat cheeses contain no vitamin A.