Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cheese: Saint Agur

Saint Agur Blue may be the best cheese I've ever eaten. 
It also is the most expensive at $26.99 per pound at Gerrard's. 
It is a double cream blue cheese made from cow's milk by Bongrain (a cheese manufacturer) in Beauzac, Auvergne region, Haute-Loire department of south central France. 
It contains 60% milkfat and is aged for 60 to 80 days. Pasteurized milk is heat to 90 degrees and starter cultures and rennet are added so that it will curdle. Curds are drained and put in octagonal molds. It is sowed with Penicillium rogueforti, the same used in Blue Stilton and Roquefort cheeses. It is removed from the mold and hand salted with course salt for six days. It is then placed on a rack in a very humid drying shed and maintained at a temperature between 50 and 54 degrees. While maturing, the cheese is pierced at least three times to allow the release of gases and insertion of oxygen to help the mold grow. 
It has no rind, but is wrapped in foil to prevent the cheese from going more blue. 
It was not developed until 1988, after several years of experimentation. They were trying to get around criticisms of other blue cheeses, whether it be they are too dry, too crumbly, too salty or too strong flavored. 
It is very moist, as moist as any blue cheese I've tried. It melts instantly on contact with the tongue. It is creamy and smooth, more buttery than butter. Although saturated with olive green mold, that usually signifies to me a real strong blue, it has only a lightly blue taste. It is not as salty or sharp as typical blue cheese. 
As a result, you can eat more of it (until the cardiac arrest, of course). Judy is also a fan. I had a slice waiting for her when she got home late from a meeting and she immediately asked for more. I tried some as a melted cheese sandwich and you can see the richness from the melted cheese. 
It was actually very good that way. I have never even considered a blue cheese on a melted cheese sandwich, but this is mild enough that I thought it was worth a try. There is no known village or place known as Saint Agur  and apparently no saint has been named Agur, so I think rather than saint, it should be Angel Agur, and I know it exists because I've tasted it and it is angelic. 

1 comment:

  1. Random Google put me here.. Greatest cheese in the world.. YUMMY!