Saint Nectaire is the name of a famous cheese produced in the Auvergne region of Central France. The cheese is usually manufactured from cow’s milk obtained from breeds of Holstein, Montbéliarde and Salers cattle.
The circular shaped cheese weights around 1.7 kgs and is made by pressing the uncooked form of cheese. A 600g cheese known as the Petit Saint-Nectaire is also available which is less in diameter as well. Both the cheese and its smaller form are produced by using pasteurized as well as unpasteurized milk.
The cheese has a speckled appearance consisting of red, white and yellow patches and a grayish brown rind. The semi hard pate of the cheese is creamy in appearance and contains holes. The silly textured cheese is dense and slightly acidic in nature. It develops a hazelnut like flavor tinged with a mushroomy taste on ageing. The taste of the cheese is quite similar to that of Reblochon.
It can be paired successfully with Beaujolais wine.
History of Saint Nectaire Cheese
The cheese has been known to be made in the Auvergne region of France since the earely 17th century. The name of the cheese has been derived from the Marshal of Sennecterre who had been responsible for serving the cheese to Louis XIV at his table.
Saint Nectaire Cheese: Variety
- Pasteurized- Babut and the Prugne brands of the cheese are made from pasteurized milk and widely available in the United States of America.
- Unpasteurized- This variety of the cheese created from raw milk can be found in France and is defined as the real form as opposed to the pasteurized ones.
- AOC-To be labeled with the appellation d’origine, the cheese must be produced within the designated area with the milk collected either in the morning or at night and the cheese made with fresh milk.
Popular Saint Nectaire Recipes
- Tomato And Cheese Tarts- Cheese slices baked into the crust of the tart.
- Crème Brulee- Chestnut liqueur and the cheese lends a unique flavor to the creamy dessert.
- Salmon- Baked salmon steaks with crumbled cheese on top.
- Cheese Omelet- Whipped with the eggs and made into an omelet.
- Beef Tenderloin- Tenderloin pockets filled with the cheese.
Saint Nectaire Cheeses: Buying/Storing Tips
The cheese needs to age for at least three weeks before it can be consumed. It is widely available in Gourmet cheese stores across USA and can be bought directly from the farms in France. Online stores also offer varieties of the cheese at affordable prices.
It is best stored in a refrigerator or a wine cellar with the wrapper on. The Saint Nectaire goes well with crackers and fruits when served at room temperature.
Saint Nectaire Cheeses: Nutritive Value
The cheese, Saint Nectaire contains 40% fat with a serving containing 12 g of protein as well. Rich in calcium, the cheese is contains a good amount of sodium and cholesterol along with vitamin A.
Saint Nectaire Cheeses: Trivia
The cheese is washed in saline water repeatedly during the manufacturing process.