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Cheese of the Week: Saint André

"The heavenly cheese".

Saint André is a soft-ripened, triple crème cheese made with cow's milk. Its ivory-colored interior is covered with a white, powdery bloomy mold rind that can be eaten. Saint André is crafted in Pacé, Normandy in north-western France, a region known for its lush pastures and mild climate. This cheese is made from milk of cows who graze outside for the majority of the year. This results in a cheese with a slightly yellow hue thanks to the high levels of beta carotene found in the cow's milk. This high-fat (75%), rich cheese is buttery and melts in your mouth. The addition of fresh cow's cream during production makes it exceptionally dense and fudgy. It has a signature salty, tangy flavor that derives from the ocean air blowing through the pastures on which the cows graze. It tastes like a fine brie mixed with sour cream and the sweetness of whipped cream.

There are three parts to Saint Andre: the core, the cream line, and the rind. The fudgy core is at the center of the cheese and has a similar texture to cold butter. Because the cheese ripens from the outside in, the core ends up being firmer than the cream line. The cream line, right under the rind, has a more gooey, runnier texture than the core. Its core and cream line become increasingly creamy and soft with age. The rind is thin, silky and edible.

Saint André won a gold medal in the Soft Cow’s Milk Cheese Category at the 2019 World Cheese Awards, held in Bergamo, Italy and a silver medal at the 2020 World Championship Cheese Contest held in Madison, WI, in the soft ripened cheeses category.

The high fat content and richness of Saint André makes pairing tricky, as it can make other foods and beverages taste acidic or metallic. Keep it simple: spread it on crackers or piece of baguette and enjoy with an off-dry dessert wine. You can also pair it with fruits such as apples and pears. You can even enjoy it melted on a piece of crusty bread and topped with pear slices for an easy, decadent appetizer.

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