This is the week to check the best cheese counter in town for heart-shaped cheese (or make your own—see the surprise below).

The most famous cheese heart is Coeur du Berry goat cheese; but if you’re a cheddar fan, you may be able to find a cheddar heart covered in red wax, from Godminster Farm in the U.K.

Coeur du Berry has a full Valentine heritage. It is produced near the village of Saint-Valentin in the Loire Valley, in the center of France.

Is there a connection between Saint-Valentin and St. Valentine’s day?

Yes, in that they are both named for a third-century priest (here’s the story).

In the 1980s, the mayor put on his marketing hat and began to promote the town (population 280) as “The Village of Love” [source].

He encouraged the villagers to decorate their houses in red hearts, and created a Lovers’ Garden (Jardin des Amoureux) where you can:

  • Plant a tree in honor of a marriage or anniversary.
  • Attach amorous wishes to the Tree of Vows.
  • Commemorate your love on the Tree of Eternal Hearts.
  • Get married in the garden gazebo.
    There’s also an annual festival around St. Valentine’s Day.

    And, all the heart-shaped cheese and souvenirs you can buy.

    If you’d like to attend, here’s more information.

    Coeur du Berry is a rich, mellow goats-milk cheese, made from pasteurized milk.

    It’s made by Fromagerie Jacquin & Fils, a cheesemaker that has been making goat cheeses for more than 60 years.

    Coeur du Berry is essentially the same cheese as Selles-sur-Cher, which is also made by the dairy.

    The creamy white heart, dusted with ash, is melt-in-your-mouth smooth, with slight hints of hazelnut from the terroir—there are no nuts in the cheese.

    Serve the heart for a cheese course before dessert, or dessert itself, with:

  • Berries and/or grapes.
  • A glass of Pouilly-Fume or Sancerre, sauvignon blanc-based wines from the the cheese’s home turf (the Loire Valley) or….
  • A sauvignon blanc from California or New Zealand.
  • Optional: shelled hazelnuts, or some hazelnut (gianduja) chocolates.

    Check out our photo-filled Cheese Glossary.


    Godminster Heart Shaped Cheddar
    [1] A red wax-bound cheddar heart and a bloomy white goat cheese heart (photo © Godminster Farm).

    [2] Take a piece of my heart now, baby: Here’s the video of Janis Joplin singing it (photo © Goat Cheeses Of France).

    [3] Pair goat cheese with a glass of sauvignon blanc wine (photo © Murray’s Cheese Bar).

    [4] Get a large heart-shape cookie cutter and create your own selection of heart-shaped cheeses (photo © Point Reyes Farmstead).


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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