Saint-Félicien is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk and cream. It ages for 2-6 weeks, developing a bloomy rind and a natural golden-beige color. Because the creamy and delicate paste can become runny, it’s sometimes sold in a small ceramic crock or in a wooden box.
Saint-Félicien is considered a dauphinois cheese, which refers to the former French province of Dauphine in which it was born. Today it’s made in the Haute-Ardeche area of the Rhône-Alpes region. It’s quite is similar to another dauphinois cheese, the more common Saint-Marcellin, however the Saint-Félicien is slightly fattier and creamier, and can be larger in diameter.
Like Saint-Marcellin, Saint-Félicien is a soft, gentle and highly accessible cheese. Its softness is due to the hand-scooped, uncooked and unpressed curd during fabrication, as well as the occasional addition of cream. It is creamy, buttery, slightly tart, and nutty.
Because Saint-Félicien is so mild, it works well as the introductory cheese on a cheese plate. Pair it with light and fruity wines that can enhance the soft flavors of the cheese; a Côtes du Rhône (Crozes-Hermitage, Vacqueyras) or a Beaujolais (Brouilly, Morgon).