L’Explorateur is a soft-ripened French triple cream cow’s-milk cheese made in the Île-de-France region of France.

Created in the 1950s, it was named to honor the first US Satellite, Explorer. As a triple creme, the fat content of its dry matter is about 75%. It has a squat cylindrical shape, and has a smooth, unpressed texture.

When ripe, Explorateur’s ivory interior has a delicate aroma, and a salty, mushroomy tang… a delicately piquant flavor that reminds me of buttery baked hazelnuts. Explorateur is usually served as an appetizer with Champagne, Bordeaux, or dry, fruity white wines, and crusty French bread. Often it’s served at the end of a meal as a dessert accompanied by a medley of ripe, fresh fruit.