Saint Marcellin. The tradition is 500 years old, the cheese isn't.
Saint Marcellin is a cheese over 500 years old yet remains lesser known by comparison to many others in France. It hails from the South east in the Dauphine region, north of Provence, and is often found in local markets in small discs or even in small porcellin moulds for perfect ageing. Traditionally Saint Marcellin was made from goats' milk, yet this has virtually all but disappeared and is quite hard to find. Almost all production is now made from cows' milk. Saint Marcellin comes individually packaged in its own container, weighing in at 80 grams. When young it's quite firm and chalky with a light bloomy white mould. Ideally aged between 6-8 weeks, this soft ripened cheese round will gradually develop a beige colour with perhaps some exterior blue mould. The texture at this point becomes quite soft and just runny. The flavour is not unlike Fromage de Meaux, but being a smaller round the flavour is more intense - more mushroomy, truffly, with some yeast and tangy flavours as well. In Paris you will find cheese shops such as Alleosse and Barthelemy that specialise in St Marcellin when it is in peak condition - just runny. Served at room temperature with fresh bread, and a full bodied red wine, eg Ch?teauneuf du Pape