Fromage Friday: Saint-Nectaire

The gorgeous weather here is holding out, so today we picked a place on the Vosges map and threw our cameras in our bags. The place we chose was Bain-les-Bains, which is one of the small towns locally that has thermal baths. It also has a chateau, a couple canals, and is generally cute.

Or so we heard! I actually have no idea, because it turns out that Bain-les-Bains is 4.5 km away from the Bain-les-Bains train station. So instead, we spent a sunny afternoon wandering the country roads, and stopped in a tiny roadside bar called “Le Coq Hardi,” for a beer. When we got home at sundown, a few bites of cheese were much needed while I cooked my first meal since breakfast.

Saint-Nectaire, cow cheese
Made by: Fermier (farmer), from somewhere nearby. Ish.
Hails from: Auvergne, south central France.  Serious cow country.
Background: Hideous grayish purple rind, a semi-hard cheese. It’s one of the waxier cheeses I’ve tried, and the first bite I had I was actually disgusted by, but I must have gotten a little of the rind. Stay very far away from that rind. Outside of that it has a bit of a bitter taste–nutty and almost a little metallic. BUT, after trying more I decided it is not bad, and my book says that this cheese is best in summer. Therefore, I will return to it in June.
Can I eat the rind? Dear god, no.
Serve it: Serve it with things that would go well with nuts, especially chestnuts or walnuts! Salmon, potatoes, tarts — I even saw a recipe for crème brulée which I am truly intrigued by.

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