Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org
Um, so I love this cheese which is made by Cypress Grove Chevre in Arcata, California. You should visit their website actually, as they have a great story about the history of the company and how the founder, Mary Keehn, got started in the business of making goat’s cheese.
But I digress. I first tried this cheese at a restaurant in Portland, OR and if you’ve never seen it, it’s appearance catches your eye right away. It has a soft white rind (like a brie), but directly underneath the rind, and also running through the middle of the cheese is a thin layer of vegetable ash.
As you can see from the better photo on the far right (thanks to pdphoto.org), this is a perfect slice of Humboldt. It’s oozy just under the rind but the heart of the cheese is firmer, but very creamy. The flavor is distinctly goaty but mild and a little tangy but it’s the different layers of texture that slay me. The soft bite of the rind, combined with oozy goat cheese and then a creaminess of the center. Absolutely delicious on rustic bread or crackers.
This cheese has won a bunch of awards. If you like goat cheese, (and good brie for that matter) this is one *not* to miss.
Pasteurized goat milk
Thanks to http://www.pdphoto.org for the photo which is way better than mine!
A hard little cheese this one, and I mean literally. This super bright orange cheese (colored with anatto), is hard, dry, flaky and well up there on the salt scale. It has a strong, pungent salty flavor with a bitter, yet pleasant earthy undertone. While I enjoyed this cheese, I’m not certain it belongs on my personal cheese board.
I did enjoy it with some crusty buttered bread, but then I enjoy everything with buttered crusty bread. Perhaps I should blog about bread? But seriously, the fat in the butter compliments the dryness of the cheese well — the Pave is not as assertive — you can take a little longer to chew and appreciate the flavors of this cheese.
You need a sharp knife to cut this cheese. It’s hardness and dryness makes me think of surviving in a cave with my flock of sheep while the snows and winds lash outside. It would keep you going for sure.
I think the best use of this cheese would be to shave it over a wilted salad, or on top of a good soup for an extra layer of salty, earthy flavor. According to the Paris Grocery in Seattle, this cheese melts very well so next time I’ll try it in a cheese melt.
If I hadn’t looked at the label, I would have sworn this was a goats milk cheese as I took a bite (the label said cows milk). And in fact, it is goat cheese because during my research, I discovered that Patacabra means “goat’s leg”. This has taught me to not trust every label at the cheesemongers!
This cheese was semi-soft and is actually a washed rind cheese. I couldn’t tell this from the little piece that I purchased, but as you can see from the photo, it’s shaped as a log. Washed rind cheese are rinsed with brine (or wine in some cases) during the aging process. This permeates the cheese with new flavors, in this case a little salty, and ever so slightly pungent. Washing rinds has the added bonus of preventing bacteria growth.
It reminded me (sorry, I know I say this ALL the time), of the Green Banks Raw Goat cheddar, but it seems as though all goat cheese made in his semi-firm style remind me of that cheese. So, perhaps, it is because they all the taste the same. And that’s not a bad thing, because it’s a delicate salty flavor. Because the texture of the cheese is very compact but pliable, the cheese because gooey in the mouth and I kind of like that. It’s a cheese you need to chew for a bit to really appreciate it.
$22.99 / lb
This is a delightful cheese and makes a great visual addition to any cheese plate and I wish I had a photo! I sampled this at a local restaurant thinking that I’d do some research once I got home for images. It turns out that there’s very little information about this cheese, at least information that is written in English! I did find an Italian website which I’m still trying to comprehend :)
So, here’s my challenge..describing the cheese without a photo because I chose this cheese just for its looks, (shallow, I know). The flesh is pale, buttery yellow which makes the bright green of the sliced pistachios stand out. It really caught my eye and I’m glad it did, because it is delicious. It had a soft, gooey quality in the mouth and a mild cheddar-like flavor. Not too salty, a mild tang and the crunch of the pistachios offered such a great balance of texture of the cheese. I am going to make a guess that it is a cooked cheese judging from its texture, which is soft, rubbery and compact.
I highly recommend this cheese for someone looking for something mildly eye catching and one that won’t offend any one’s palate, flavor wise.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep researching.