Selles-sur-Cher Cheese Uncovered: All You Need to Know

Are you a cheese lover looking to expand your palate? Look no further than Selles-sur-Cher cheese! In this article, we will delve into the history, production, and taste profile of this delectable French cheese. Stay tuned to discover all you need to know about Selles-sur-Cher cheese.

History of Selles-sur-Cher Cheese

Selles-sur-Cher cheese has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. It originated in the Loir-et-Cher department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France.

Origin of Selles-sur-Cher Cheese

The name “Selles-sur-Cher” comes from the town of Selles-sur-Cher where the cheese was traditionally made. It is believed that the cheese has been produced in this region since the 1830s.

Traditional Production Methods

Selles-sur-Cher cheese is made from raw goat’s milk and has a distinct ash-coated rind. The cheese is aged for a minimum of 10 days, during which time it develops a creamy texture and a slightly sharp flavor.

Historical Significance

Selles-sur-Cher cheese has been recognized as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product since 1975, ensuring that it is produced according to strict guidelines in the designated region. The cheese has become a symbol of French culinary tradition and is a favorite among cheese connoisseurs worldwide.

Characteristics of Selles-sur-Cher Cheese

Appearance and Texture

Selles-sur-Cher cheese is easily recognizable by its distinctive appearance. It is a small, disc-shaped cheese with a flat top and bottom. The rind of the cheese is covered in a layer of edible charcoal dust, giving it a unique gray color. The texture of Selles-sur-Cher cheese is soft and creamy, with a slightly crumbly interior.

Flavor Profile

Despite its mild appearance, Selles-sur-Cher cheese packs a flavorful punch. It has a rich, earthy taste with hints of hazelnut and mushroom. The charcoal dust on the rind also imparts a subtle smokiness to the cheese, adding to its complex flavor profile.

Aging Process

Selles-sur-Cher cheese is typically aged for a minimum of 10 days, but can be aged for up to 5 weeks for a stronger flavor. During the aging process, the cheese develops a deeper flavor and a creamier texture. The charcoal dust on the rind helps to regulate the moisture levels of the cheese, resulting in a perfectly aged product.

How Selles-sur-Cher Cheese is Made

Ingredients Used

Selles-sur-Cher cheese is made from raw goat’s milk, rennet, salt, and specific strains of mold. The goat’s milk used in the production of this cheese comes from local farms in the Loire Valley region of France.

Production Process

The production of Selles-sur-Cher cheese begins by heating the raw goat’s milk to a specific temperature and adding rennet to coagulate the milk. Once the milk has coagulated, it is cut into small curds and placed into molds to drain. The cheese is then salted and left to ripen for several weeks.

Regulations and Standards

Selles-sur-Cher cheese is protected by an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) designation, which means that it must be produced in a specific region of France and adhere to strict production guidelines. These guidelines ensure that the cheese is made using traditional methods and that it meets certain quality standards before it can be labeled as Selles-sur-Cher cheese.

Popular Uses of Selles-sur-Cher Cheese

Cooking and Recipes

Selles-sur-Cher cheese is a versatile cheese that can be used in a variety of dishes. It is great for melting, making it perfect for dishes like grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and quesadillas. It can also be crumbled over salads, pasta dishes, or soups for added flavor and creaminess.

Pairing with Wines

When it comes to pairing Selles-sur-Cher cheese with wines, it is best to go for a light-bodied, fruity wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Noir. The acidity in these wines complements the creaminess of the cheese, while the fruity notes enhance its flavor.

Incorporating into Charcuterie Boards

Selles-sur-Cher cheese can also be a great addition to charcuterie boards. Its creamy texture and slightly tangy flavor pair well with a variety of meats, fruits, nuts, and crackers. Add some slices of Selles-sur-Cher cheese to your charcuterie board for a delicious and elegant touch.

Health Benefits of Selles-sur-Cher Cheese

Selles-sur-Cher cheese, a delightful French cheese made from goat’s milk, offers a variety of health benefits when consumed in moderation. Here are some of the reasons why adding Selles-sur-Cher cheese to your diet can be advantageous for your health:

Nutritional Profile

Selles-sur-Cher cheese is a good source of essential nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamin D. These nutrients are crucial for maintaining strong bones, muscles, and overall health. Additionally, this cheese contains probiotics that can promote gut health and boost the immune system.

Potential Health Risks

While Selles-sur-Cher cheese has numerous health benefits, it is important to consume it in moderation. This cheese is high in saturated fat and sodium, which can increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure if consumed in excess. Individuals with lactose intolerance should also be cautious when consuming Selles-sur-Cher cheese as it may cause digestive issues.

Moderation and Balance

To enjoy the health benefits of Selles-sur-Cher cheese while minimizing potential risks, it is essential to consume it in moderation and maintain a balanced diet. Pairing this cheese with a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help offset its high saturated fat content and ensure a well-rounded diet.

In conclusion, Selles-sur-Cher cheese can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet when enjoyed in moderation and as part of a balanced eating plan.

Where to Buy Selles-sur-Cher Cheese

Local Cheese Shops

  • Check out your local cheese shops or delis that specialize in artisanal cheeses. They may carry Selles-sur-Cher cheese or be able to order it for you.

Online Retailers

  • Many online retailers offer a wide selection of gourmet cheeses, including Selles-sur-Cher. Look for reputable websites that specialize in gourmet foods or cheeses.

Specialty Food Stores

  • Specialty food stores or gourmet markets often have a selection of unique cheeses, including Selles-sur-Cher. Visit your local specialty food store to see if they carry this delicious French cheese.

In conclusion, Selles-sur-Cher cheese is a unique and delicious French cheese with a rich history and distinct flavor profile. From its ash-coated rind to its creamy texture, this cheese is a favorite among cheese connoisseurs around the world. Whether enjoyed on its own or incorporated into a variety of dishes, Selles-sur-Cher cheese is sure to impress with its complexity and depth of flavor. Be sure to seek out this renowned cheese and experience all that it has to offer.