Tentation de St Felicien

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Milk: Cow, Thermized

Style: Soft

Rennet: Animal

Origin: France, French Alps

Pairing: Dry white, Medium-bodied reds

You may know the time-honored St Felicien cheese in the small crockpots. The Tentation (temptation) is a more tempting version of this, unfortunately without the crockpot, but with an extra helping of pasteurized cream to make it a little bit more decadent.

This little gem from the French Alps has a, perfectly edible, beautiful wrinkled rind (due to the geotricum mold) which covers a luscious paste. The paste is so luscious because the cheesemakers very carefully ladle the curds into little forms and then let them rest. The milk is thermized which means it is not fully pasteurized and keeps most of the flavors that were in the milk in the cheese. When you know that the cows graze alpine meadows in the Massif du Vercors National Park, you know that the ladling technique just accentuates the flavors creating a profile with lactic cream up front, grass and herbs in the middle and hazelnuts at the end.

A crusty baguette and some fresh fruits are the best companions to this cheese.