A French Goat, a Spanish Goat and an American Goat Walk Into a Bar…
Back before the snobby days of food blogs, I thought provolone and havarti were pretty damn fancy, and had no idea that cows were only the beginning. I was amazed to learn that sheep could produce something as phenomenal as pecornio romano, and I was dumbfounded when told that fresh mozzarella doesn’t come from cows at all, but from water buffalo.
Then, at some glorious point in my early post-collegiate life, I stumbled into a fancy-shmancy dinner party and discovered the wondrous beauty that is spun from the teat of a female goat. My life has not been the same since, as there is literally an entire world of soft, creamy, goat’s milk cheeses to be tasted. Here are three that have recently blown my mind, and my palate.
Boucheron – This French goat’s milk cheese comes in a waxy rind that I have to say I’m not crazy about, but it surrounds a soft white middle that is rich, creamy and just a little bit sharp. Most importantly, this is a goat cheese that crumbles in your mouth, not in your hands. Unlike other crumbly goat cheeses and fetas, Boucheron isn’t just for salad – it can be easily spread on a cracker or just sliced and eaten solo.
Nevat – Holy
cow goat. This Catalaunian cheese, whose name is Spanish for ‘snowy,’ dares to be different. Nevat goes for the rich and creamy thing without bothering with the crumbles. The consistency is closer to Brie than most goat cheeses, but it still captures that tangy goat cheese thing with just a little bit of sweet thrown in.
Humboldt Fog – I have no idea where California stands in the global cheese pantheon, but if this bad boy is any indication, the Golden State should be getting some serious cheese-loving props. Cypress Grove Chevre, the NoCal company that specializes in goat’s milk cheeses, sums up their signature offering as how: “an elegant, soft, surface ripened cheese. The texture is creamy and luscious with a subtle tangy flavor.” All true, but what they aren’t telling you is that this mofo is some stinky cheese. Seriously. As in hold your nose, put a bag over your head, and don’t inhale, stinky cheese. It’s also a smooth, buttery thing of beauty that should not be missed. (Props to Alison for the recommendation.)