The PairingSaint-Nectaire + Rosemary Pine Nut Brittle

The Cheese: Saint-Nectaire (Cow, France)

Saint-Nectaire is a cow’s milk cheese that is AOC protected, meaning it can only be made in south-central France to be considered at true Saint-Nectaire.  The cheese is slightly yellow, usually with a few holes in it, and the rind smells a little like ammonia (so don’t eat it…). The paste of a ripe Saint-Nectaire is squishy — not quite firm, but not quite soft. It is buttery, grassy and not very salty. Just a very pleasant cheese to eat a lot of.

The Accompaniment: Rosemary Pine Nut Brittle

To make the brittle, I modified this recipe to include 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary and used toasted pine nuts instead of pistachios.

Why this Pairing Works: Pine nuts themselves have a flavor affinity for rosemary, so they work well together. Rosemary is such a distinctive flavor, reminiscent of grass/fresh/clean flavors, that it marries well with the Saint-Nectaire which is traditionally aged on straw. The texture of the brittle is somewhat soft due to the fatty pine nuts, and the semi-soft cheese and crunch of the brittle is amazing together. 

Wine Reco: Beaujolais or Pinot Noir