Saint-Andre cheese is a soft cow's milk cheese of French origin. Several producers in France continue to make this cheese, and it is also made internationally, although some consumers feel that cheeses from France have a superior flavor and texture. This cheese is available from specialty cheese stores, and sometimes from the cheese department at the market, especially if the cheese buyer happens to be a fan of French cheeses. It is also possible to order Saint-Andre directly from the dairies which produce it.
This cheese is very similar to Brie, another famous French soft cheese. Saint-Andre cheese is very rich and creamy, with a soft, buttery texture which sometimes becomes slightly crumbly. The outside of the cheese is covered in a soft, velvety white rind of mold, while the inside is pale yellow in color. Saint-Andre cheese is typically made in the form of tall wheels.
Cheesemakers classify Saint-Andre cheese as a triple cream cheese, meaning that the butterfat content is around 75%. This high butterfat content is accomplished by adding cream to the milk while it is being processed, making the cheese especially rich, dense, and buttery. The high fat content means that this cheese can be a dangerous pairing, because it can make other foods and drinks taste acidic or sharp.
One of the best pairings for Saint-Andre cheese is a wedge of simple French bread, or a plain cracker. The cheese also goes well with pears and ales, and some people enjoy it with dessert wine, allowing the cheese to temper the sweetness of the wine. Saint-Andre can also be enjoyed plain, although eating a palate cleanser like a cracker before moving on to another food is recommended.
Consumers should be aware that Saint-Andre cheese is highly perishable. The curing process only takes around 30 days, and the cheese must generally be consumed within approximately a week. Once the cheese has been opened, it will last for around two days. It should be stored under refrigeration to prolong shelf life. Some producers make Saint-Andre with raw milk, developing a cheese with a more rich, complex flavor. In regions where raw milk cheeses are banned, pasteurized milk replacements are available.
When selecting Saint-Andre cheese, people should for evenly-colored cheese with no pink or blue blush. The cheese should not have any soft spots. Cheeses with a sharp smell should be avoided, as they may have gone bad.