Friday, November 25, 2016

St Nectaire

I was going through some photos from earlier this year, and I came across some of a meat and cheese board we had put together in the spring. Sausage, cheese, and some pickled cucumbers and onions (not pictured), sounded like a good spring dinner to me.

For the cheese portion of the board, we went with the St. Nectaire cheese, a "semi-soft, washed rind cheese from the Auvergne region of France," which was probably the spotlight cheese of the month. Apparently it was also a favorite of King Louis XIV. We thought this sounded different from the cheeses we usually get (more cheddar and goat cheese than anything else), and we like exploring new cheeses to see if we can find new ones we like.

The texture of this one was much softer than I was expecting, kind of creamy like brie. According to Trader Joe's, the cheese is supposed to be "aromatic of straw and mushrooms" and it was supposed to have notes of milk, nuts, and "the mineral-rich meadowlands." We've said before that we're not great at describing cheese, so we didn't really get any of that. To me, it was just really funky and kind of pungent, and I wasn't really a fan. I liked it much better with the sausage we ate it with than on its own, but even then, it was a bit heavy and strong for me. I don't think A loved it either, but he liked it more than I did.

A funny thing about this cheese was I hadn't realized it was stinking up our entire refrigerator until it was gone. A few days earlier, we had returned from grocery and Costco shopping and filled up the fridge, and it really smelled to me like something was rotting in there. It made no sense since almost all of our food was new, but I went around sniffing possible culprits and found nothing (including the cheese). The smell persisted until we ate the cheese, and then it was immediately gone. It was like a combination of rotting food and feet. It was strange how the odor got all over our fridge but I couldn't really smell it when directly sniffing the cheese package. I was kind of glad when it was gone.

To go with the cheese, we tried out the natural turkey summer sausage, turkey combined with a bunch of spices and seasonings (including mustard, celery powder, and garlic powder). We thought the sausage was pretty good, a bit salty, but fine. It's been a few months so we don't remember a ton about the flavor of the sausage specifically, other than that it was fine. The cheese made much more of an impression on us.

As for our usual buy again query, summer sausage is a maybe and the cheese is a no.

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