Today was a dim, damp, and cold day typical of Winter days in France. The perfect weather for growing moss. I teasingly refer to this season as ‘moss-growing season’ because by February, it will be all over gates, concrete entrances and any garden furniture that didn’t get put inside.
It was also Day 3 of a Cheesy Christmas….
Before I tell you about today’s cheese, those of you who have been following since our first Cheesy Christmas post may have noticed that, while I said there would be a different cheese each day leading up to the 25th, there were only 12 cheeses in the box.
In order to ensure freshness, the folks at LaBoxFromage mailed out the first 12 cheeses on November 24th, so that we’d have them by December 1st. They’ll mail out the second dozen next week, in time for arrival prior to December 12th.
We have talented friends…
the unwrapped Saint Marcellin above is sitting on top of a hand-woven tea towel by Wanda McAllister, from our church in Saint John.
Day #3: Saint Marcellin
- Name: Saint Marcellin
Cheese.com describes this cheese as having a mushroomy or nutty flavour. I’d say that’s about accurate – certainly in terms of initial smell (which was an initial turn-off for the boys). The rind was more mature than yesterday’s Coulommiers or even your typical Brie, but the center was still nice & creamy.
- Region: Originally from the Isère region of France (South-East of France, near the Alps), incidentally that’s the area where the Les Alpages cheese dairy is located; the dairy behind our Cheesy Christmas box.
- Milk: Cow’s milk, non-pasteurized
- Our Score: 4.4/5
Each of us give it a grade out of 5, then the total gets divided by 5 (hence the precise decimal number 🙂 ). It’s harder than one might think because, as I think I mentioned yesterday, the initial comments are “It’s not as good as the Coeur de Pomm. on day one.” … We’re not experienced cheese-tasters enough to evaluate each cheese on it’s own merit… there’s a fierce tendency to simply compare. (Maybe we’ll get better over the next 21 days! 🙂 )
Making the Cut
Cutting this Saint Marcellin was a cinch! Since it was a half-round, it just gets treated like a round cheese (same way as you’d cut a Brie or a Camembert).
If you’re in North America and feeling industrious…
The New England Cheese Making Supply Company, in Massachusettes, has a recipe for making Saint Marcellin cheese, as well as all the other things that you’ll need, over and above the milk, to try your hand at cheese-making.
The Cheese quote of the day comes from American celebrity chef, the late Anthony Bourdain.
““You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”
Happy Cheesy Christmas….
See you tomorrow for cheese #4