Saint André

A half-eaten St. André cheese, and its packaging.

How is it that I passed the halfway point of my sixth decade before sampling a triple-cream cheese for the first time? That’s a question to haunt my twilit moments. At least now I have done so, thanks to my acquisition, last weekend, of some Saint André cheese from my local Tesco. On first cutting into it I was surprised at how firm was its texture: from its appearance I’d expected something softer. For a French cheese its flavour was decidedly mild, but sumptuously creamy.

On the side of the tub housing the cheese is a boast of its having won ‘super gold’ at the World Cheese Awards, which inclines me more to doubt the value of the Award than to unquestioningly assign merit to the cheese. Why isn’t regular gold enough for a top prize, as it is, for instance, at the Olympics? If gold must be outdone, what’s wrong with platinum? Dubious accolades aside, the cheese is really very good.

In her article on triple-cream cheeses in The Oxford Companion to Cheese, Soyoung Scanlan writes that “many cheese-lovers consider triple-cream cheese to be a somewhat dull entry-level cheese because of its mild flavor and light texture”. I’m not so far advanced in my own cheese journey to have lost a liking for the simple pleasures afforded by plainer, mass-produced examples, and this is one such pleasure I intend to revisit.