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
|Type of Cheese||Goat cheese|
|Country of Origin||France|
|Region||Centre-Val de Loire|
|Texture||Soft-ripened and creamy|
|Color||White to blue-grey|
|Flavor Profile||Nutty, tangy, with a hint of mushroom|
|Aging Time||Minimum 3 weeks|
|Pairings||Light, fruity wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne|
|Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)||Yes, since 1975|
|Unique Fact||The ash-covered rind helps to draw out moisture, concentrating the flavor of the cheese|
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
- 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
|Cheese||Short Description||Tasting Profile|
|Crottin de Chavignol||A 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 Chevre||A heart-shaped, soft-ripened goat cheese from France.||It offers a creamy, mild flavor initially, which intensifies with age to a tangy, goaty finish.|
|Bûcheron||A 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 Corse||A sheep or goat milk cheese from Corsica.||It has a fresh, milky flavor with a hint of sweetness. Its texture is smooth and creamy.|
|Valençay||Another 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 Lover||A 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 Tomme||A 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?
Food that goes well with Selles-sur-Cher:
|Fruits||Apples, pears, figs, and grapes. These fruits offer a sweet contrast to the tangy flavor of the cheese.|
|Nuts||Almonds, pecans, and walnuts. The crunchiness of the nuts complements the soft texture of the cheese.|
|Bread/Crackers||Baguette, sourdough, or whole grain breads and assorted crackers. These provide a nice crunch and a neutral base to enjoy the cheese.|
|Charcuterie||Prosciutto, salami, or other cured meats. The salty, savory flavors balance out the creaminess of the cheese.|
|Condiments||Honey, fig jam, or apricot preserves. These sweet condiments pair well with the tangy flavor of the cheese.|
|Vegetables||Olives, 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:
|White Wine||Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, or Chardonnay. These wines have a high acidity that balances the creaminess of the cheese.|
|Red Wine||Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. Light-bodied red wines complement the delicate flavor of the cheese without overpowering it.|
|Sparkling Wine||Champagne or Prosecco. The bubbles and acidity in these wines cut through the creaminess of the cheese.|
|Beer||Belgian Witbier, Saison, or fruity Lambics. These beers offer a contrasting flavor profile to the cheese.|
|Cider||Dry apple cider. The crispness and fruitiness of cider complements the tangy flavor of the cheese.|
|Non-Alcoholic||Sparkling water or fresh pear juice. These beverages cleanse the palate and highlight the flavors of the cheese.|
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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