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Cheese Spotlight: St. Albans

By February 26, 2017 Vermont Cheese, Wine No Comments
St. Albans and Foiled Cucumber Gewurztraminer

One of our favorite new cheeses in the case is actually a brand new cheese called St. Albans from Vermont Creamery.

St. Albans and Foiled Cucumber Gewurztraminer

St. Albans and Foiled Cucumber Gewurztraminer

St. Albans is a rich and slightly pungent cheese that comes packed in its own ceramic crock.  Its special packaging allows it to continue to develop, becoming softer and more spreadable as it ages and developing a more robust flavor.

It’s Vermont Creamery’s take on the French St. Marcellin cheese.  It’s also their first non-GMO Certified cheese and their first cheese made with 100 percent cows’ milk.

In addition to being delicious, it’s a quick and easy fondue party trick! That sturdy ceramic crock is ideal for baking.  Throw it in the over to create a decadent, silky fondue that you can serve with sliced baguette or roasted fingerling potatoes.

We love St. Albans with Foiled Cucumber Gewurtztraminer .  The yeasty, breadiness of the rind has a natural sweetness that pairs well with the subtle sweetness in the wine, and the bright, lemony interior of the cheese works as a contrast to keep the wine from becoming cloying.

Our secret pairing?  Dipping potato chips into a warm  crock of St. Albans. 

About Vermont Creamery

We’re not surprised that one of our new favorite cheeses comes from Vermont Creamery.  They are one of the pioneers of the American artisan cheese movement.  It was started by Allison Hooper who learned artisanal cheesemaking on a family farm in Brittany, France, in the 70s.

When she came home, she was working at a Vermont dairy lab when the Vermont Department of Agriculture was looking for a chevre to serve at a special state dinner.  While that’s an easy task today, it wasn’t so easy in the 1980s.  There wasn’t a lot of artisan cheesemaking in the U.S. then.

Allison made the chevre herself and it was so successful that she ended up founding a cheesemaking company.  More than 20 years later, the creamery is still making artisanal dairy products in the European tradition while championing local farms. They’ve won dozens of awards for their cheeses and are known for They make several  cheeses.”  What’s that, you ask?  It’s a surface ripened cheese, which means the mold is applied to surface and the cheese ages from the inside out instead of most cheeses that aged from the outside in.

The telltale sign of a “geo” cheese is wrinkles.  We’ve long been fans of Bijou, Coupole, Bonne Bouche and Cremont, the other geo cheeses from Vermont Creamery.  St. Albans is a worthy addition to their collection.