This is the perfect weather for a glass of Port and a slice of Saint Agur.
Cheese Name: Saint Agur
Origin: Saint Agur is made by the Compagnie Fromagère de la Vallèe l’Ance in the town of Beauzac in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region. CFVA operates under the umbrella of its parent company Savencia, which is a large French dairy maker and distributor.
Milk Type: pasteurized cow’s milk
Style: I can’t make it any clearer than the description on the packaging does: “blue-veined full fat soft cheese.”
Description: Blue cheeses are usually cut with a wire to protect the delicate paste of the cheese. When you cut into Saint Agur, you see the irregular blue-green of the veining and small caverns, in stark contrast to the cheese's creamy yellowish colour. The blue is more concentrated towards the wheel's center with minimal veining towards the top and bottom. It has cream added to the milk before production, so the result is double cream. Saint Agur is described as an industrial cheese. There is a notion that an excellent cheese must be farm-made and small production. However, there is no reason cheeses can’t be made in large amounts if made well and with care. This is a great example. The quality and consistency are always reliable, and I think that is why it has such a broad appeal.
Tasting Notes: The nice thing about Saint Agur is that it has enough full flavour to satisfy blue cheese lovers but has a clean enough taste and a rich enough texture that appeals to people who are just learning about blue, or cheese in general. As with most blue cheeses, it has an underlying hint of salt, but the level is very pleasant, making it an easier addition to a cheese plate. Stronger blues like Roquefort can overpower other delicate cheeses, but Saint Agur is a little more friendly towards the other cheeses on the plate.
Pairing: Saint Agur is easy to pair condiments with because it doesn’t have too earthy or funky a flavour. You don’t need to buy anything specific, any fruit preserve or jam you have open will taste great. I find it especially delicious with fruit and nut bread, as the sweetness offsets the saltiness for the perfect balance.
GOW recommended pairings: