The cheese making process begins with whole or unpasteurized cow-milk depending on the farmstead or industrial variety. Pasteurized or unpasteurized, the milk is renneted for a period of 30 to 40 minutes until the curd is formed. A lyre is then used to gently uncurdle bits of renneted cheese the size of grains. Almost 80 percent of the milk used in the process is drained in the process. The curdled grains are then collected and pressed into molds and wrapped in salted linen for pressing (12-24 hours) and aged (minimum 28 days extended to 2-3 months) refrigerated on rye straw. Washing and rewashing with salt water takes place throughout the aging period. 



Saint-Nectaire is a light cow-milk cheese with a creamy hazelnut flavor. Production dates to farmsteads in the 1600s in the Auvergne region in the volcanic grasslands surrounding the Pays des Monts-Dore. Sait-Nectaire gained rapid fame and became a favorite with the court of King Louis XIV. Today, the Saint-Nectaire AOC includes 72 villages, 52 in Puy-de-Dome and 20 in Cantal. The cheese is made with a curdling and uncurling technique using rennet that requires significant amounts of milk, 13-14 liters for a single small cylinder. Saint-Nectaire was awarded AOC status in 1955.

Saint-Nectaire is made in a cylindrical shape approximately 9 inches in diameter and 2 inches thick. The color of the two-sided rind varies with the age of the cheese, alternatively white, brown or grey with orange, yellow or red patches. This unevenness in color in a very requirement of the Saint-Nectaire AOC. The creamy inside is sold and fluid with a pungent smell. 

Saint-Nectaire production supports over 240 farmers with approximately 15,000 tons of cheese produces each year. 

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