|Production Area||Central France (Auvergne)|
|Milk||Cow milk (whole)|
|Fat content||min. 45%|
|Size/weight||20cm x 4cm thick/1.5kg|
|Aging time||approx. 7 weeks|
Saint-Nectaire is a semi-soft cow's-milk cheese from the Auvergne region of France. According to legend, Saint-Nectaire was named by King Louis XIV at Versailles, in honor of Henri de La Ferte-Senneterre, the marshall who first presented it to him.
Saint-Nectaire has a distinctive yellow color, with a pink-orange rind and a rich flavor. It may be produced with pasteurized or unpasteurized milk, depending respectively on whether it is produced according to the legally-defined "dairy" or "farm" method.
The cheese generally comes in wheels weighing approximately 1.5kg, each of which is made with 12 to 13 litres of milk. The cheese is pressed, which serves to give it a firm texture, then it is ripened in a cool place for approximately one week. Following this ripening, the cheese is further "matured" on a bed of rye straw for six more weeks, with regular turning and scraping of the rind. The cheese may also be repeatedly washed in salt water during the maturing process.
See also: List of French cheeses, List of cheeses