Here you will find a selection of fine soft cheeses, but not typically with bloomy rind.
Saint Félicien is a raw cow’s milk cheese from south east France, more closely the Rhône-Alpes.
Similar to Saint-Marcellin, but is milder and richer. Invented in the 1950s in Lyon, but is now made up in the mountains. Like the Saint-Marcellin it’s a one serving cheese, around 150 g each. Matured from two to six weeks and develops a pale yellow, soft and absolutely edible natural rind.
To drink: White from the Rhône valley or a Puligny-Montrachet. Since this is a rich cheese your wine should contain some acid to handle the milk fat.
Another raw cow’s milk cheese from the Rhône-Alpes region (Dauphiné) in south east France. Originally made from goat’s milk, but frequent milk shortages have now turned it into a cow’s milk cheese. A very traditional fermier cheese (farmstead cheese) that is matured from two to six weeks before consumption.
Small, round and an ivory colored natural rind. Creamy, with a robust nutty and fruity taste especially when fully ripe. It gets easily runny so don’t leave it for too long in room temperature. Comes in a tiny terra cotta crock that can be used afterwards as a finger salt container to put on your table.
To drink: As above: White from the Rhône valley or a good Puligny-Montrachet. No less.
A small crottin style ewe’s milk cheese from St Martin de Castillon in Luberon, Provence. Farm dairy with milk from own herd. Lactic, with just a dash of rennet to help the coagulation of the milk. A fine, fresh cheese with very delicate flavours and probably it is mostly consumed that way. But this cheese also matures well, so a couple of months makes the flavour rounder and with more body. Acidity goes away, but no signs of sharpness.
To drink: A dry, fresh white from Provence or equivalent rosé.
Something as uncommon as a ewe’s milk cheese from the Berry province in the Loire valley. Typical area for goats, but obviously with exceptions. Roud cylinder the size of a somewhat large ice hockey puck. The rind is a bit bloomy, otherwisw dominated by Geotrichum candidum. Beige colour, but paste is white. Matured for a minimum of three weeks and have a little salt sprinkled across the rind during maturation. Fairly compact texture, crumbly, but melts on your tongue. A light acidity. farmstead cheese, since it’s made made at only one farm called SCEA Le Brebis du Berry – Les Bruyères situated in Saulzais Le Potier, a short hour’s ride south of Bourges.
To drink: Sancerre, not of the cheapest. Good quality andsome maturation is the thing.
Lingot Saint Nicolas de la Monastère
From Hérault in the south-west of France. A wonderful cheese shaped like a small brick. Wrinkled rind that has color as Devon cream for those who are familiar with that, perhaps easier to say pale yellow? Great texture, the cheese is white with a snowy slightly firmer core as so often with these relatively fresh ewe’s milk cheeses. Great, but mild flavor and very distinct taste of thyme. This is a cheese that used to be made from goat’s milk, but no longer.
To drink: Sauvignon blanc.
A soft and very delicately tasting ewe’s milk cheese formed like a flat cake and weighing about 100 to 120 grams. Comes from the Aveyron area, where they also supply milk for making Roquefort. Cheese is either farm dairy or artisanal. Typical Geotrichum rind, with a slight bloomy addition.
Å drikke til: White St. Chinian from Languedoc.
A tiny little (80g), soft, smooth and creamy farmstead cheese from raw ewe’s milk. Matured for two weeks. Rind is slightly moulded. Taste is mild, with a fine acidity, but sharpens with a little age. From the village of Hures-la-Parade in the Department of Lozère in Languedoc-Roussillon.
To drink: A dry white from the south of France, preferable Languedoc-Roussillon.
Pavé de Cocagne
Aka Lingot de Cocagne. Farmstead cheese from the Tarn area, i.e. north east of Toulouse in the Occitanie region. We’re in the south of France. Shaped like a small bar. Very soft and runny, but with a firmer core. The rind has a matt, lightly yellow color. Some Geotrichum candidum. Paste is off white, while the firmer core is white. Mild taste with a touch of milk and some barnyard tones if you dig deep enough.
To drink: How about north Rhône and a Condrieu?