What is Selles-sur-Cher? A Taste of France’s Artisanal Heritage

What is Selles-sur-Cher? A Taste of France's Artisanal Heritage - Cheese Origin

Selles-sur-Cher is a cherished gem from France’s rich artisanal heritage. Hailing from the Centre-Val de Loire region, this cheese is an exquisite representation of traditional French cheesemaking. Made from full-fat goat’s milk, Selles-sur-Cher is a soft cheese, distinguished by its unique rind dusted with wood ash, imparting strong mineral notes to its flavor profile.

Named after the commune of Selles-sur-Cher in Loir-et-Cher, this cheese has been delighting palates since the 19th century. The process of making Selles-sur-Cher is a careful art – the milk is hand-ladled into molds, and the young rounds are dusted with fine wood charcoal. Upon the first taste, Selles-sur-Cher might seem faintly heavy and elastic, but it soon softens as it melts in your mouth.

Quick Facts About Selles-sur-Cher

Quick FactsDetails
Type of CheeseGoat cheese
Country of OriginFrance
RegionCentre-Val de Loire
TextureSoft-ripened and creamy
ColorWhite to blue-grey
Flavor ProfileNutty, tangy, with a hint of mushroom
Aging TimeMinimum 3 weeks
PairingsLight, fruity wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne
Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)Yes, since 1975
Unique FactThe ash-covered rind helps to draw out moisture, concentrating the flavor of the cheese

What is Selles-sur-Cher?

What is Selles-sur-Cher?

Embark on a gastronomic journey to the heart of France with Selles-sur-Cher, a cheese that stands as a testament to the country’s rich culinary heritage. This iconic goat cheese hails from the Centre-Val de Loire region and is named after the town of Selles-sur-Cher.

Immersed in tradition, Selles-sur-Cher is instantly recognizable with its unique, ash-covered rind – a nod to an age-old cheesemaking practice that gives it a distinctive blue-grey hue. But don’t let the exterior fool you. Beneath the rind lies a soft, creamy interior that unfolds a symphony of flavors – tangy yet subtly sweet, with a hint of nuttiness and mushroom overtones.

Aged for a minimum of three weeks, this cheese only gets better with time as its flavor profile becomes more pronounced. It boasts a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status since 1975, ensuring the cheese’s quality and authenticity.

Selles-sur-Cher is more than just a cheese; it’s an experience. Paired with a light, fruity wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne, it offers a taste of French gastronomy that is as delightful as it is unforgettable. So, next time you’re in the mood for cheese, reach out for a slice of Selles-sur-Cher and savor the taste of France’s artisanal excellence.

What Does Selles-sur-Cher Taste Like?

The initial taste of Selles-sur-Cher is mild and creamy, with a texture that melts in your mouth. As the cheese matures, it develops a more pronounced flavor – tangy yet subtly sweet, offering a delightful contrast that keeps your taste buds guessing.

One of the distinguishing features of Selles-sur-Cher is its hint of nuttiness. This flavor note adds a layer of depth to the cheese, making it stand out from other goat cheeses. Additionally, there’s a subtle undertone of mushrooms, which contributes to its earthy and rustic charm.

The rind, covered in edible ash, provides a slight mineral flavor that further enhances the overall taste experience. It’s a beautiful balance of flavors that pairs well with light, fruity wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne, and complements a variety of dishes.

Selles-sur-Cher Tasting Notes

Selles-sur-Cher Tasting Notes
  • Texture: The texture is soft-ripened and creamy, providing a melt-in-your-mouth experience. It’s smooth and velvety, making it a delight to savor.
  • Flavor: Selles-sur-Cher has a complex flavor profile. It begins with a mild, creamy taste that gradually develops into a tangy yet subtly sweet note as the cheese matures.
  • Nutty Undertones: One of the distinguishing features of Selles-sur-Cher is its hint of nuttiness. This adds a layer of depth to the cheese, setting it apart from other goat cheeses.
  • Mushroom Overtones: There’s a subtle undertone of mushrooms, which contributes an earthy and rustic charm to the cheese. This adds complexity and richness to the flavor profile.
  • Rind Flavor: The rind, covered in edible ash, lends a slight mineral flavor to the cheese. This enhances the overall taste experience, adding a unique twist to the traditional goat cheese flavor.
  • Aging: Aged for a minimum of three weeks, the flavor of Selles-sur-Cher becomes more pronounced over time. The aging process allows the cheese to develop its unique flavor profile.

How to Eat Selles-sur-Cher?

  • Serving Temperature: Remove the Selles-sur-Cher from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before serving. This usually takes around 20-30 minutes and helps to enhance the flavors of the cheese.
  • Cheese Platter: Place the Selles-sur-Cher on a cheese platter. It pairs well with other cheeses, especially those with contrasting flavors and textures.
  • Pairings: Accompany the cheese with fresh fruits like grapes or figs, nuts, and honey. These pairings complement the tangy and sweet flavors of the Selles-sur-Cher.
  • Bread or Crackers: Serve the Selles-sur-Cher with a selection of fresh bread or crackers. The crunchiness of the bread or crackers combined with the creamy texture of the cheese creates a delightful contrast.
  • Wine Pairing: Pair the Selles-sur-Cher with a light, fruity wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne. The acidity of these wines balances the creaminess of the cheese.
  • Eating the Rind: Don’t shy away from eating the rind. The edible ash-covered rind adds a slight mineral flavor that complements the overall taste of the cheese.
  • Cooking: Selles-sur-Cher can also be used in cooking. It melts beautifully, making it a great addition to dishes like pasta, risotto, or baked vegetables.

7 Best Selles-sur-Cher Substitutes

CheeseShort DescriptionTasting Profile
Crottin de ChavignolA goat cheese from France, with a slightly crumbly texture and strong aroma.It has a nutty taste that becomes more pronounced as it ages, somewhat similar to Selles-sur-Cher.
Coeur de ChevreA heart-shaped, soft-ripened goat cheese from France.It offers a creamy, mild flavor initially, which intensifies with age to a tangy, goaty finish.
BûcheronA French goat cheese that has a unique log shape.It has a tangy, lemony flavor with a hint of sweetness and a bloomy rind similar to Selles-sur-Cher.
Brocciu CorseA sheep or goat milk cheese from Corsica.It has a fresh, milky flavor with a hint of sweetness. Its texture is smooth and creamy.
ValençayAnother French goat cheese, recognizable by its pyramid shape.It has a citrusy, nutty flavor and a soft, creamy texture. The ash-covered rind offers a mineral note similar to Selles-sur-Cher.
Dirt LoverA sheep’s milk cheese from Green Dirt Farm.It has a tangy, mushroomy flavor profile with a hint of earthiness. The ash-covered rind is reminiscent of Selles-sur-Cher.
Prairie TommeA hard sheep’s milk cheese from Green Dirt Farm.It offers a nutty, sweet flavor and can be used as a substitute for parmesan or pecorino cheese.

What Pairs Well With Selles-sur-Cher?

What Pairs Well With Selles-sur-Cher?

Food that goes well with Selles-sur-Cher:

CategoryFood Pairings
FruitsApples, pears, figs, and grapes. These fruits offer a sweet contrast to the tangy flavor of the cheese.
NutsAlmonds, pecans, and walnuts. The crunchiness of the nuts complements the soft texture of the cheese.
Bread/CrackersBaguette, sourdough, or whole grain breads and assorted crackers. These provide a nice crunch and a neutral base to enjoy the cheese.
CharcuterieProsciutto, salami, or other cured meats. The salty, savory flavors balance out the creaminess of the cheese.
CondimentsHoney, fig jam, or apricot preserves. These sweet condiments pair well with the tangy flavor of the cheese.
VegetablesOlives, cherry tomatoes, or roasted bell peppers. These add a different texture and flavor profile that complements the cheese.

Also read: 11 Best Crackers that Pair Well with Cheese

Beverage that goes well with Selles-sur-Cher:

CategoryBeverage Pairings
White WineSauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, or Chardonnay. These wines have a high acidity that balances the creaminess of the cheese.
Red WinePinot Noir or Beaujolais. Light-bodied red wines complement the delicate flavor of the cheese without overpowering it.
Sparkling WineChampagne or Prosecco. The bubbles and acidity in these wines cut through the creaminess of the cheese.
BeerBelgian Witbier, Saison, or fruity Lambics. These beers offer a contrasting flavor profile to the cheese.
CiderDry apple cider. The crispness and fruitiness of cider complements the tangy flavor of the cheese.
Non-AlcoholicSparkling water or fresh pear juice. These beverages cleanse the palate and highlight the flavors of the cheese.

Also read: Best Wine and Cheese Pairings: The Ultimate Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I eat the rind of Selles sur Cher?

Yes, the rind of Selles-sur-Cher is edible. It’s typically covered with a light coating of vegetable ash which is also safe to eat. The rind adds a slight earthy flavor that complements the tangy and creamy flavor profile of the cheese itself. As with all cheeses, it’s a matter of personal preference whether to eat the rind or not.

2. How to pronounce Selles sur Cher?

Selles-sur-Cher is a French name and it’s pronounced as “Sell-soo-shay”. Here’s a breakdown:

  • “Selles” sounds like “sell”
  • “sur” sounds like “soo”
  • “Cher” sounds like “shay”

Remember, the ‘r’ at the end of “sur” and “Cher” is not pronounced distinctly, as is common in French pronunciation.

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