Monday, February 18, 2008

Chevre II: Selles-sur-Cher

"The rind is firm and smells like ash and animal, with a hint of cellar and earth." -Joanne's tasting notes on

Selles-sur-Cher goat cheese is the most delicious of its kind that I have ever had the great pleasure of tasting.

It is certainly on my top 5 list of best cheeses. I think Dave agrees with me on that. We picked this delicious devil out at Intermarche (supermarket) and we've been taking our sweet time with it, savoring each piece that we spread on little slices of pignette (better than a baguette).

It takes a bit of work to cut off the moldy charcoal rind, but the little square of firm, flaky, snow-white cheese is worth all the trouble. A little bit goes a long way, especially as it melts in your mouth and gives off its distinctive goaty-nutty-salty flavor. Our brick of Selles was aged, but when it is consumed earlier, the cheese is much softer and less intense. Of course, I didn't know this when we bought it, but I'm glad we tried the more aged version first. I wouldn't mind having a taste of the younger Selles, although I'm a bit afraid it won't be able to stand up to our first round with the cheese.

The cheese is made in the Loire Valley, the very center of France. The regulations surrounding the production of real Selles-sur-Cher are very strict, thus, it is not a common cheese at the market, especially outside of central France. I believe it is possible to find a version of this cheese in the USA that is made from pasteurized milk. But, as almost all French people are known to testify when faced with this change in tradition, it is not true Selles-sur-Cher chevre. Gotta take advantage while I still can... No question about it, we are absolutely going to be buying another brick of Selles-sur-Cher as soon as we return from our winter vacation. (I wonder what kinds of delicious cheeses we will stumble across in Rome, Marrakesh, and Essaouira...)

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