Selles Sur Cher: Goat Cheese Extraordinaire
October 29, 2010
Looking for a dense, snow-white chevre? Then Selles sur Cher is the goat cheese to seek out. Selles sur Cher is the first chevre we have evaluated and it set a high bar. We fell in love with this well-balanced and flawless cheese.
Selles sur Cher is a soft pasteurized goat’s milk cheese from the chevre heartland of the Loire Valley, France. The cheese is produced in a disk format and covered with ash. In the cheese world, Selles sur Cher is the equivalent of a newborn: it is aged for just 8 days before market.
The cheese looks like sculpted stone. The top of the cheese is flat and grooved with tight lines, while its sides look like crumpled newsprint. The exterior of the cheese is green-gray dusted with white. The interior of the cheese just beneath the rind is a creamy, icing-like layer that is sticky. The interior is snow-white, dense and dry.
Selles sur Cher has a barnyard aroma. The rind smells like animal; the paste has a grassy scent. The barnyard perfume may be off-putting when the cheese is initially unwrapped, but these relax and are not so strong as to deter eating.
Selles sur Cher has intense bursts of flavor, but comes across as a mild cheese. Initially, the flavor is intensely salty and tart. Its tart brightness is almost puckering. The icing-like layer beneath the rind adds a sour milk flavor that balances the cheese’s salty flavor. Selles sur Cher has a dense chalky texture and makes tiny crumbs on the plate.
What an amazing cheese. We loved Selles sur Cher. One juvenile taster said it was the best of the night’s 4 cheeses. Both kids described this cheese as mild, which is surprising given Selles sur Cher’s intense–yet brief–flavors.
Selles sur Cher is an excellent chevre-style goat cheese. Any occasion would be improved by the addition of this cheese.
Purchase Notes: We purchased Selles Sur Cher at Cheese Plus (San Francisco). We (thankfully!) purchased a whole cheese; it can be divided into 8 servings.