Someday I hope to eat my way through all the delicious and diverse cheeses of France. Preferably I will do this in France, but for now I must settle for my local cheesemongers to guide me. I am lucky to have several experienced mongers and the ones at Morgan and York in Ann Arbor, Michigan are some of the best.
On my most recent visit I had a chance to sample Saint Felicien, a soft subtle cheese from the Rhône-Alpes region (also known as caille-doux) and was pleasantly surprised.
Presented in a stone crock with a pale yellow rind, Saint Felicien hides a nutty, pillowy, slightly pungent flavor that is not normally found in a raw cow’s milk cheese. Best served with berries and sweet nuts. Avoid citrus and sour fruits (I made the mistake of tasting with Granny Smith apples. Trust me, just say no!)
I have heard this cheese is similar to Saint Marcellin however I have yet to taste it and cannot say for sure. It is on the French cheese tour so I am sure I will get to it soon. In the meantime, I have a little crock of goodness to satisfy me…for about five more minutes when it will be all gone! Bon Appetit!
I was a pretty ticklish kid. So ticklish, my mother would just have to say “Tickle Tickle Tickle” in my general direction and I would be on the floor, rolling with laughter. To be honest, it was agony and I have since learned to turn off my tickle button. After tasting this rare treat, I may have to turn it back on!
Ticklemore cheese was originally made at Ticklemore Dairy by Robin Congdon, Ticklemore is now produced at Sharpham Creamery by Debbie Mumford (Debbie trained under Robin before taking over the cheesemaking). This unique cheese is made from vegetarian full-fat, pasteurised, goat’s milk and hand molded in small baskets and turned twice weekly during its three-month maturing phase. The rind retains the shape of the basket which has been described as having a UFO appearance. While cold, Ticklemore has a flaky, pillow-y texture that “tickles” the tongue with light aromatic flavors. As the cheese becomes room temperature, the airy bubbles and flaky texture become soft slightly runny. The Camembert flavors from the rind are more pronounced and assertive as well.
I am more partial to the taste at room temp yet I can see the appeal of the airy texture. The grapes balanced out the flavor even more.
Ticklemore is difficult to find and the price reflects its rare status. At $40.00 per lb. I don’t see purchasing large quantities anytime soon. It is a cheese I would recommend trying (in small amounts) at least once, if you can find it.