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Jun 16, 2007 03:40 PM

St. Andre Cheese

Hi all -

Didn't know where else to turn to ask this. I've googled but no luck. I purchased a small container of St. Andre Cheese. It has a white washed rind like Brie but there is a very fine white fuzz on it too... is that normal? it wipes right off... but I don't want to make guests sick of course. Words of wisdom?


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  1. Hmm ... I tend to think of St Andre as powdery rather than fuzzy. As long as its is not brown or orange, should be ok. It tends to get more brown and amonia-tasting when it goes bad.

      1. This post reminds me of an assistant I had once. I left to pick up lunch, and a customer told him that the Pierre-Robert was "bad" because it had fuzzy white mold on the rind. He had scraped it off of 8 1.5 lb wheels before I returned. They werre all *perfect* when I left, bloomy and ripe. When I returned, an entire supply, completely ruined.

        I fired him instantly.

        chevychasemdguy- the fact that your St. Andre still has the "white fuzz" is a gift to you- usually it so suffocated under plastic it's slimy and brown. Eat it. (and it's not a "white washed rind", it's a bloomy rind (Penicillum camemberti), for future information, as a "washed rind" is something completely different (Brevibacterium linens)).

        6 Replies
        1. re: cheesemonger

          Just a clarification/amplification to rworange and cheesemonger: An orange color on a rind is not an indication of bad quality; indeed that color is fine, excellent even. The mold b. linens, mentioned above, creates an orange-colored rind, as in Epoisses and Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk (its orange rind has some red streaks, hence the name of the cheese).

          1. re: maria lorraine

            I love Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk -

            Thanks all for the words of knowledge. It all makes perfect sense now.

          2. re: cheesemonger

            You certainly know your stuff cheesemonger! I am kind of "new" to the world of cheeses and it's always great when someone like you can lend your expertise to this matter. I am not one to shy away from tasting and exploring new foods, and people like me sometimes need a little help in figuring out certain foods.

            Here is my "St. Andre First Time" story:
            The first time I ever tasted Brie, I was in love!! However, I had eaten it several times until the question arose from a friend..... "Can you that white stuff?" I didn't think it was edible at all, but as you're aware, I was wrong. After Googling questions regarding Brie, I found out it was perfectly edible, but just a matter of personal taste. So, I unfortunately missed out on eating many rinds!! Now, I always eat the rind.... I find it just as good as the cheese. However, I know some people prefer not to eat the rind. Which is their choice, of course. Every time I stopped at the store to get a wheel of Brie, I always saw the package of St. Andre and wondered how good it was...... I mean come on, TRIPLE CREAM!!! It's gotta be good!! A delightful, mini-heart attack! LOL Anyway, I decided to buy it one day when I stopped at the store. I was so disappointed when I got home and unwrapped it!! The entire top of the wheel was COVERED in white, fuzzy mold. I immediately threw it away, disappointed. So, the next time I stopped at the store, I bought it once again (being sure to check the expiration date). Again, I got home and it was covered in mold.... pitched it. One more time, I stopped at the store and this time I checked them out thoroughly! Each one was covered in mold. Totally puzzled, I went home and started Googling..... only to find out...... THAT'S A GOOD THING!! I was so pissed at myself!! I actually threw away a couple of perfectly Good St. Andre wheels!! Anyway, my point being..... Thank you for lending your knowledge to anyone that has a question (and not being a snob about it). If it wasn't for people like you, I never would have eaten many of the cheeses I have enjoyed!! I'm sure many people have had the same experience as I did. I just hope that after reading these posts, nobody THROWS ANYTHING AWAY!! Check with people that know their stuff first! Cheese is a "funky little thing" to begin with, so you never know what's edible and what's not. It's best to check with the experts!

            1. re: cheesemonger

              Good to know, cheesemonger. St. Andre is my favorite exclusively-for-eating cheese.

              Now I want to try Pierre-Robert, which I've seen before but have never eaten.

              1. re: Jay F

                It's sort of like Explorateur, IIRC, or a cross between it and St. Andre. I hate that so many places cut the St. Andre wheel before it's ripe enough, so those little whole ones are useful to avoid unripe cheese.

                1. re: mcf

                  I'm able to get decent-enough cuts of St. Andre as long as the retailers don't charge too much. I have Trader Joe's and Whole Foods at $9.99, the local supermarket chain at $14.99, and the best cheese shop in town at $13.49.

                  The supermarket chain has been playing with its pricing. They priced St. Andre at $21.99 for the longest time. I just didn't buy it there until they lowered the price -- to $10.99 IIRC.

                  They sold out a couple of times at $10.99 and $11.99, so they went up to $14.99, and the cheese got so ammoniated, I think they had to throw it out. It's now at $14.99, cut in tiny pieces, presumably because no one's buying it. I sent them an e-mail explaining the price war on Saturday. We'll see what happens.

                  The "best cheese shop in town" also has rather ammoniated St. Andre. It's the price, for sure, but I think the fact that the store is very Italian in its orientation may have a lot to do with it. I don't buy it there.

                  So it's been WF and TJ for me. Good price. Great cheese.

                  Incidentally, I always leave St. Andre out for going on 24 hours before I eat it. I like it with "good" bread rather than crackers.

                  I used to love Explorateur during the 1980s. I bought some this year, and I wasn't as crazy about it as I used to be.

                  The only triple-creme (I think) I haven't liked at all was Epoisses. I guess that's a good thing in a way, as it's also the most expensive.

            2. I recently tried St. Andre. It's a very different cheese for me as I haven't dabbled much in the realm of the soft-ripened cheeses so leapingn to triple cream was indeed a leap. It's OK for me in small amounts, however it's quite overwhelmingly buttery to me but then again I only like butter in small amounts as well so that makes sense. It's still a good cheese for me and I'm excited to search out others of the same style. I must admit that I bought it precut from Trader Joe's so perhaps from a cheesmonger would give me a different impression.

              15 Replies
              1. re: fldhkybnva

                Best to buy the small, whole rounds of St. Andre than to buy not fully ripe, pre cut and aging, not ripened wedges, I've found. I love the butteriness, especially when completely oozy and room temp.

                1. re: mcf

                  Yea, the butteriness was a bit much for me. SO is back in town soon, if he doesn't like it I might have to bring it back to TJs. I'm excited to try out other similar cheeses though and will look for uncut rounds.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    They're in a little round white box with a red lid, little plastic windown on top. You can press the middle and not open the wheel inside until you feel it's fully ripe.

                    That's the problem with cheese from stores that cut the wheel open and plastic wrap portions; from then on, the cheese isn't ripening further, just aging badly.

                    1. re: mcf

                      Fully ripe = no longer soft in the center? Thanks as always, an mcf education.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        When it's ripe, it shouldn't be hard and white in the center. It should give, but not be total mush.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          No, the opposite. If it's ripe it should give in the center. If it's hard, don't buy it.

                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                          If you don't like butter, triple creme is probably not a good category for you. Some of these cheeses can out-butter butter!

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Yea, I think that's probably true. Last week I also I tried a very yummy Camembert which isn't a triple creme but I only tasted because I've been seeking out more soft cheeses so either way I'm glad I tried it if it leads me to others I like. But yes, the butteryness was over the top for me so I've been researching more in the family but not necessarily triple creme. The Harbison was a good start for me last week and was probably the level of creamy and buttery that I'm looking for.

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              And St. Andre is as close to butter as any I've ever had. Next up might be Explorateur (sp?) for you to avoid. :-)

                              1. re: mcf

                                Thanks for that tip, uh oh should I stay away from Mt. Tam as well.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  What cheeses do you like best? I love stinky washed rind cheeses, frinstance. Costco carries one I like I keep forgetting the name, it's a little round petit something in wax and expensive. I love esrom, Hudson Red artisanal in NY, Humboldt fog (goat with ash in it), Tete de Moine. Roquefort (buttery, though). Manchego...

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    I pretty much love most cheeses except goat. I always have gouda, cheddar, Ossau Iraty, Raclette in the fridge.

                                    The only cheeses I've absolute hated are Taleggio and Mont Enebro.

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      Whereas a nice, runny Taleggio makes my day. :-)

                      2. my St.Andre best friend did not come from a home with food.there were five kids and it was a very onepot meal every once and awhile her mom would call and say " what is this chicken dish that delany is talking about" and mom would give her the recipe.Well one day she come to pick her up and comes into the kictchen and says "show me this white gooshy cheese I have bought four white cheeses and she keeps telling me it is the wrong stuff" So mom gets some St Andre out tells her it needs to be room tempeture and sends it and some carrs home with her later that evening she gets a call" Holy geeeezzz no wonder delany hangs out over there if you feed her stuff like this!"