April 29, 2008

La Fête du Fromage - Pouligny Saint-Pierre

My husband has officially found his favorite cheese. Luscious, dreamy Pouligny Saint-Pierre. It wasn't my absolute favorite, but it is a very special cheese!
The entire pyramid was devoured over a couple of days, with the flavor seeming to improve every time we sliced off a little piece.

The Berry region of central France, most specifically the Brenne Valley in the southern Indre, is home to herds of Alpine, Saanen and Poitevine goats, whose unpasteurized milk is used to make Pouligny Saint-Pierre.
This chèvre has two claims to fame; it is produced in France's smallest cheese AOC area and it was the first chèvre to be granted AOC status.

It is a fine textured, elegant cheese that has been granted the nickname "la pyramide" or "la Tour Eiffel" due to its truncated, pyramid shape; a shape that allows the cheese to breathe and ripen to its distinctive flavor due to the ratio of weight to surface area.

The wrinkled rind covers a thin, creamy and oozing layer which wraps around a dense, refined and chalky middle. It was earthy, with mildly salty flavors and heavenly, sweet hints of hazelnut. The pleasant aroma was soft, mild and smelled slightly of straw.
All around a delicious cheese that I would happily enjoy again and again.

White wines such as Sancerre Blanc, Chenin Blanc or Pouilly Fumé pair best with Pouligny Saint-Pierre, but a glass of red Sancerre would be good too. Pin It


Polly-Vous Francais said...


That cheese looks positively scrumptious.

I have a question. Since you devoured it over a couple of days (and I praise your restraint!) I was wondering -- do you keep it in the fridge in the mean time? And if so, how long should you leave it out before diving into again? I'm trying to get my cheese savoir faire figured out, and I've heard mixed advice. I simply adore unpasteurized cheese.

Merci infiniement!

Jennifer said...

Unless it is really hot (in the height of summer out house warms up considerably) we leave cheese out, wrapped loosely in wax paper.
Also, if I know that we'll be eating cheese in a few days or am trying to ripen it, I leave it out.
We don't have a cool cave in our house, so the cheese is just in our kitchen.

If you do keep cheese in the fridge, let it come to room temperature before eating or the flavor won't be as wonderful.
I've heard you shouldn't refrigerate cheese and I've heard that you should. How comfortable are you with leaving unpasteurized cheese at room temp? I am, but I know many who are not.
Hope this helps!

La Belette Rouge said...

A mountain of cheese. I am not one for mountain climbing--but I feel confident I could scale that Everest. And, thanks for going back to cheese. My eyes feel better. ;-)

Ken Broadhurst said...

Loulou, you now have an idea of how good the goat cheese from the Saint-Aignan (Touraine/Berry) area really is. Selles-sur-Cher, Valençay, Pouligny-Saint-Pierre, good Sainte-Maure-de Touraine -- it's all amazing. Our neighbors just a mile up the road make some of the best (and sell it at their farm and in the markets here). I also like it these goat cheeses with a good Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre or Touraine, or a Chenin Blanc from Vouvray.

Unless your kitchen is cool -- say around 60 degrees F/15 degrees C or even less, I'd say keep cheese in the vegetable bin of the fridge and take it out 30 minutes or even an hour before eating it.

On the question of keeping cheese in the fridge or out, I'm not sure it matters whether or not the milk used to make the cheese is pasteurized. Once fermentation has started, the cheese is safe. There is something special about raw-milk cheeses, but I'll tell you, some pasteurized-milk cheeses can be just as good, I think.

Jennifer said...

la belette rouge
If you are still coming to Paris this summer you can try some. Are you still coming?

Thanks for the wine and storage hints. I've been told a few times by cheesemakers to never put their cheese into the fridge. If it is really warm though, I do.

Jennifer said...

To add to that last comment...
Now that I know you have a neighbor who is a cheesemaker, I just might show up on your doorstep one day and ask you to introduce me!

screamish said...

oh oh oh hoh hohoho!!!! I'm pregant which is great, but Im not allowed tp eat this sort of cheese at the moment!!! Oh the temptaion!!

thanks for cheese bread recipes, might try it later, our boulger is shut too...

screamish said...

sorry for spelling, I just woke up from a nap!

Jennifer said...

You'll have cheese to look forward to when you can eat it again.
Hope you make the bread. Let me know how it goes!