So this week I meet a new staff member at The OC Cheese Shop. Well, he’s actually not new, he’s been here since the beginning, but for some reason I’ve never run into him. His name is Holton. Holton is also the person who’s awesome writing is on the menu on a daily basis.
This week’s Weekly Cheese bring a new cheese to the cases of the OC Cheeseshop – St. Nectaire from Jean d’Alos. A French cheese, it is a pressed cow’s milk with a mild flavor. A little earthy and nutty in taste. Affineur Jean d’Alos is located in the Bordeaux Triangle and produces some of the regions best cheese and is a supplier to some of France’s finest restaurants.
Affineur you ask? I looked it up as I didn’t know what the term referred to. An affineur is a person that specializes in the maturing and ripening of cheese. According to SlashFood:
Affineurs can be viewed as the foster parents of the cheese. They receive these cheeses completely fresh, before they’ve developed, and then, they take care of the cheeses in such a way that they each acquire their own unique characteristics. The affineur ages their cheeses in the right humidity and temperature, many times a cave. Depending on the type of cheese, they may brush, wash, and rotate the wheels. Affinage is a skill that takes many years to perfect. It’s an art that involves a lot of labor.
In addition to the St. Nectaire I also sampled the Gabietou, also from Jean d’Alos. Gabietou is an uncooked pressed cheese that has a more fruity taste than the St. Nectaire. Made from cow and ewe milk, its a great addition to any cheese plate.
There was also a small wedge (well, truth be told it was 1/2 a pound) left of the Testun al Barolo that I had last week and I bought the last of it.
It’s going to be a fun week! Of course, another batard of that awesome fermented bread and some Finnochiona.
3315 Hyland Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626