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Le Salers Fermier AOP/AOC [Auvergne, France]

Melanie Wong Mar 24, 2013 11:01 AM

Surprise! I do have interests beyond oozy, stinky cheeses. And one of them is a cheese of the ancients called Salers, traced back as far as 2,000 years by some accounts. Inspired by reading comments like these, I’d kept an eye peeled in France last year, but did not run across it there.

RockDoveFarm: “Honestly I think the cheese I most love that is in a similar style to BdT isn't a blue at all: Salers. I love the eggy, yeasty, rich flavor and it is also blued up on several of the occasions that I've gotten it.”
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/302067#7829644

martyn94: “Also Salers which is basically Cantal made to tighter standards: if you have the chance, see the salers cattle whose milk is used - they are very beautiful.”
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/602661#4499290

PreservedFish: “Salers is a related cheese from the same region. I think it is essentially Cantal but made in a different season. I have had VERY funky and sharp Salers before, which tasted like a mistreated Keens cheddar, in which the rotten vegetable flavor (nice in small doses) got out of hand.”
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/629417#4812246

So, imagine my delight at finding Salers on display at the cheese counter at Miki’s in Palo Alto. Shannon, the cheesemonger, shaved off a very thin slice for me to try. I was amazed at how the flavors bloomed as soon as the cheese touched the tongue. Often compared to fine English cheddar, I’d say that the flavor profiles share some similarities though Salers is grassier/greener in taste. The main difference to me is that Salers is more delicate and subtle in attack versus the robustness of cheddar. It manages to be intense and complex yet refined at the same time. I loved the crystalline texture, similar to older parmesan. And like RockDoveFarm stated above, there’s a bread dough yeast quality and a flan-like egginess too that’s completely unique.

Shannon said production of this cheese is very limited because Salers cattle can only be milked in the presence of their calf. This is mentioned in the Les Affines blog post as well, linked below.

At $24 per pound, Salers Fermier is not an every day cheese. It is, however, one I’ll seek out the next time I need a hard cheese for the table.

* * * * * * * * * *
Cheddar in France? Surely Not?
http://lesaffines.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/cheddar-in-france-surely-not.html

Le Salers: unique fromage AOC exclusivement fermier
http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/societe/20120504.FAP3319/le-salers-unique-fromage-aoc-exclusivement-fermier.html

L’AOP Salers
http://www.aop-salers.com/

  1. Melanie Wong Mar 24, 2013 11:11 AM

    The photo of the display and a few cellophane wrapped wedges of Le Salers. No plastic cling wrap at Miki's.

     
    5 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      Delucacheesemonger Mar 27, 2013 12:43 PM

      Along with Cantal and Salers you might investigate the third of the triad, Laguiole. Of the three IMHO it has the most merits, in flavor and texture.

      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
        Melanie Wong Mar 27, 2013 12:46 PM

        I have, of course, long been interested in a cheese that shares the same name as my corkscrew. :)

        And sadly, we learned this week that this grocer and its cheese counter will be closing by April 1.

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          Delucacheesemonger Mar 27, 2013 01:19 PM

          The cheese is still made in Laguiole, the knife is made now in Thiers

      2. re: Melanie Wong
        possumspice May 26, 2013 09:56 AM

        fyi, salers and laguiole are often available at gourmet & more on gough. we just got some laguiole there yesterday.

        1. re: possumspice
          Melanie Wong May 26, 2013 11:56 AM

          Oh thank you! I've only been in the store once and was pushing a wheelchair so I didn't try to squeeze into the cheese room. I definitely need to go back and take a closer look at the whole place. A house guest once brought me some French butter and Coulet roquefort he'd purchased here.
          https://www.facebook.com/GourmetAndMore

          And if one is visiting San Francisco's Hayes Valley neighborhood, here's a google map of food and drink attractions that I made. I haven't been to all of them, so they're not personal recs, but I think they probably all deserve a look-see.
          https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=...

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