Thursday, September 15, 2005

A watched Saint Marcellin never ripens


We love the cheese man at our Whole Foods. I think he's on a personal mission to get us hooked on Italian cheeses. But before we headed over to the Robiola Langhes, I asked him for his feeling on the Saint Marcellin, which we've always loved -- plus they come in cute little earthenware dishes, "So you can put it into the oven to warm it and make it all runny..." he tells us. Runny... mmmm.

How can I get it really runny? He advises we take it out of its plastic wrap, but leave it in the dish and place into a tupperware so it has some breathing room. Then, he says, put it into the drawer for the vegetables in your fridge.

"The Rotter?" I say, because that's where we traditionally rot our vegetables such as the rest of the celery and old baby carrots.

"Yes, that's the place. It has the perfect temperature and humidity. Then just take it out every so often and let it air out a little bit. The mold will grow over the top."

Obediently, we followed all instructions and every day for a week, we've been airing out the cheese. Is it true that a watched cheese never ripens? We examine it carefully on a daily basis and always, one or the other of us will ask, "Is it time yet?"

How about now?

Well, there's a fine white mold and we were excited tonight to see a faintly orange-y tinge starting to grow. Watch this space for developments...

3 comments:

Lindsay said...

I love that cheese. Buy it when it puffs above the label. I can't wait to watch it. It's best room temp or right out of a warm over. Dip a crusty bread in it. mmm. pino gris is the match.

ME said...

Hi Lindsay! Thanks for the tips. We've had a couple of them now where they're runny and sway like a water-bed in the little dish. Mmmm, crusty bread with Saint Marcellin...

Anonymous said...

St marcellin is my absolute favorite cheese. Loved it when I lived in Lyon, love it now. DO NOT let the Whole Foods folks try to convince you - as they did me - that St. Felicien is the same, but bigger. Non, non, non. If that were the case there would both a St Marcellin (st felicien size) and a Petit St Marcellin (st marcellin size). Sometimes, if they're all hard, ask the cheese person - they may be preparing to (Philistines!) pitch the softest ones as garbage.