To celebrate Bastille Day on Friday 14th July, Debbie Williams, buyer and merchandiser at Paxton & Whitfield has selected the French cheese St. Nectaire, (unpasteurised cows' milk, traditional rennet) as Cheese of the Month.

St. Nectaire is a semi-soft, washed rind cheese made int he Auvergne, central France. It is made from the unpasteurised milk of Salers cows that feed on rich, volcanic pastures and has been produced in this area of France since the 17th Century.

Once formed, it is laid on rye straw mat and matured for up to six to eight weeks. This maturation process helps to impart a very pungent smell to the cheese. Once ready for sale it has a greyish purple rind that is dotted with white, yellow and red moulds. The creamy, supple and silky textured paste melts in the mouth to reveal flavours of nuts, hay and mushrooms.

Debbie says: “St. Nectaire makes an eye catching addition to any cheese board with its attractive velveteen rind, especially when its ripe and oozing. I would enjoy this with a glass of Paxton’s 10-Year-Old Tawny Port and our Cornish Buttermilk Biscuits. The slight sweetness of the biscuits offsets the complex earthy, creaminess of the St. Nectaire perfectly.”