Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Fromagerie (cheese heaven)

Our second stop on the Food Tour was a fromagerie. I was so excited to go to the cheese shop! So excited to taste cheese! And I now have a new favorite cheese:
Saint-Nectaire. It's a semisoft, washed rind cheese from the Auvergne region of France, a grassy and volcanic area. It's made from the milk of Salers cows that feed on the rich, volcanic pastures, it is AOC awarded, and takes six to eight weeks to mature on rye straw mats (so it was also called rye cheese), imparting a peculiar pungent smell to the cheese. The creamy, silky cheese melts in the mouth to reveal flavors of hazelnuts, hay, cellars, mushrooms. It's maybe a tad less creamy than brie. Thus far we have not been able to find it here, which makes me sad.
Our guide bought some Saint-Nectaire, brie, a blue cheese, comté, and mimolette for us to try plus some saucisson and we had our baguette from Kayser Boulangerie. We piled all our little packages atop a barrel we rolled outside to use as a tabletop (with the cheese shop's permission).
We started with the comté - really good and easily found here in the US (we found a block at Costco). It kind of reminded me of gruyere.
The mimolette - a young mimolette. I much prefer the young mimolette to the aged mimolette, which is what SP loves. It is difficult to find here in the US, something about the cheese mites. The younger mimolette is smoother and creamier while the old mimolette is very, very hard, it just flakes apart. Later on in our trip, at a different fromagerie, SP bought more Saint-Nectaire and an aged mimolette.

At this point, I was tired of juggling the camera and eating and trying to remember everything so I gave up photos. The blue cheese was good, but the older I get, the less I like blue cheese. The brie was excellent. It was Brie de Meaux.

Now for cheese heaven photos - so many glorious cheese options:

I can't wait to go back and get more of my favorite cheese.

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