Soumaintrain is a very whiffy French cheese with a taste that is both sweet and salty.
The cheese will have either an ivory-yellow velvet rind or a sticky orange-caramel coloured rind. The orange rind is salty-tasting and edible: its colour is indicative of the presence of brevibacterium linens bacteria typical of smear-ripened cheeses.
Inside, the cheese is soft but not runny.
Both farmhouse and creamery versions are made. Farmhouse versions use raw milk; creamery versions tend to use pasteurized milk.
To make Soumaintrain cheese, cow’s milk is curdled, then the curds are cut, put into a small round mould, but not pressed. The cheeses are unmoulded, and as they age, washed with a mixture of brine and marc (aka grappa). The proportion of marc in the wash is increased as time goes by.
Each cheese is a flat cylinder ranging in diameter from 9 to 13 cm (3 ⅓ to 5 inches), and weighing between 180 g and 600 g (6 to 21 ounces).
The cheeses are aged a minimum of 3 weeks.
Soumaintrain is made in the Côte-d’Or et Yonne départements in the northern part of the historic Burgundy region, and in the département of Aube just to the north of them.
Soumaintrain cheese has a 45% fat content.
In 2011, an association was created to promote the cheese.
On 14 June 2016, the cheese was awarded PGI designation.
Soumaintrain Product specification sheet (2015)