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French in origin, this variety of cheese is made from either pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's milk from Salers cattle that graze in the Auvergne region of central France. Common as a farmhouse produced cheese, Saint-Nectaire is formed into small round disks with an outer rind that may we white, tan and grey with a red or yellow mold-speckled coloring. The rind covers an inner pâte that is straw colored, semi-soft and smooth textured with small eyes spread throughout the paste. When served, the cheese provides a mild tasting flavor that has a slightly fruity overtone. With a noticable aroma that may resemble the grasses on which the Salers cows graze, Saint-Nectaire has an earthy and mouldy smell that is not objectionable, but appreciated by those who savor the complexity of the flavors within this cheese.
When serving, Saint-Nectaire goes well as a snacking cheese with fruits, hard crusted breads, meat, and fresh vegetables. It is a good cheese to eat with hearty red wines such as a Beaujoalis, a Chianti or a Rhône red.
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