Cheese of the week: St. Agur


Last week, we highlighted a Spanish cheese which has been part of the country’s traditions for centuries; this week, we turn to a French cheese which will be celebrating a mere twenty-three years of existence this year.  St. Agur, a pasteurized semi-soft cow’s milk blue cheese from the Mont de Valey region of France, was developed by the Beauzac cheese dairy in 1988 in an area of France known for its blue cheeses.  What sets this masterpiece apart from the others is the perfect combination of the distinctively sharp (but not too sharp) blue flavor of the mold with the almost-sinful creaminess of the double cream (it is, in fact, 60% butter cream) cheese.  It is also considerably less salty than most blue cheeses.  The strong and fruity flavor and melt-in-your-mouth richness never overpower each other and instead complement each other flawlessly.  St. Agur is ideal for spreading on a crusty bread, melting on a sandwich, adding to a vegetable dip or sauce, dolloping on a cup of soup, sprinkling on a salad, or pairing with fruits such as dates, figs, and pears.  It also pairs well with both white and red wines, especially chardonnays, syrahs, or ports.