Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Character and Tentation

I like character.  In people, obviously.  In dogs, definitely. In wine, usually and where there is wine in my life there will be cheese, probably.  
Given this you can imagine my cholesterol’s joy when I saw a small (certain aspects of this post may have been altered to accord with reasonable consumption expectations) wheel of double cream, raw cow’s milk, vintage, soft flowered crust cheese properly nouned Tentation at my fromagerie this week.  Yes, I have a fromagerie.  Well a few actually, primarily so that no single fromager will judge me on excess consumption or elastic waistbands. 

I’m not usually the one to v-line for the soft cheeses on a platter, but with a loaf of still warm fruit and walnut sour dough in my sac, it seemed appropriate to trust the double cream concept and deny my natural inclination toward any cheese which moulds, burns, bites or accosts my nasal workings.
Tentation Saint Felicien has the sort of character I would normally miss out on while I mouth off against a strong mould or punchy wash rind elsewhere on the cheeseboard.  It tastes nearly whipped, pillowy and light, creamy (as the name would suggest) and quiet. I should probably have left it to stand at room temperature a little longer than I did before devouring. Perhaps this way the centre could have oozed more and the slightly too creamy cream edge may have tarted up a little. Disappointingly, there were no surprises and no sparks for me (yes, this is the calibre of expectation I lay on my cheeses) but I knew that for a soft cheese lover, Tentations double cream siren call would have been heavenly. 

Maybe my problem was that my moments with Tentation were shared wine-free? With a crisp glass of Brouilly or a classic Cote de Rhone (both regional matches to the cheese) perhaps our love would have been richer. I cannot, however, justify red wine for breakfast. Yet.    
(Ask for: Tentation de Saint Félicien, Double Crème produced by L'Etoile du Vercors)

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