Humboldt Fog cheese question
I feel guilty even asking a question regarding food this week, and have earlier posted prayers and good wishes on other boards.
I bought a wedge of humboldt fog goat cheese maybe 5 or 6 days ago. I've noticed the remaining cheese has taken on some characteristics now and am wondering if it's still ok to eat (my first time with this cheese). The white powdery rind is now streaked with a darkish color mold, and part of the cheese consistancy has become a little runny on the edge. Can I eat the rind or do I cut it off? Same question for the runny part of the cheese...sorry for my ignorance on this.
The blue/gray covering on this tome is the same vegetable ash that is layered in the center. (Inspired by the classic French Morbier) Depending on the amount of bloom that develops, this ash/rind will be more or less obvious. Unlike some other cheeses, this rind is very clean and perfectly edible. The Humboldt Fog can vary in consistency quite a bit, depending on the season, and in my opinion, the amount of salt they use when making this cheese. (At times the entire rind sort of slips off!) The runny stuff is also yummy and edible, but often more pungent. Because this cheese is so fragile I recommend buying it from a shop that cuts it to order.
You may want to check out their website http://www.cypressgrovechevre.com/
Generally, I don't eat the rinds on soft "bloomy" cheeses like that, because they often taste funky (in that blue-cheese kind of way, which some people love but not me). Humbolt Fog starts out creamy when it's young, then gets runnier and stronger-tasting from the outside in as it gets older. It's good any way, though! And that grey line in the middle is vegetable ash--the "fog" in question.
I thought Dixie's description of how this particular cheese ripens and tastes was helpful - especially to someone who doesn't know a lot about cheeses and doesn't know what the "norm" is. But as the other postings have showed - folks have different tastes and there is no "correct" way to appreciate this cheese (or any food for that matter) Some like the runny part, some the rind, some the soft inner. Your tastes should be your guide.
Storing cheese is a subject that someone might want to address - alot of cheese is sold wrapped in plastic- that might not be the best way to store it? I realize it may be different for hard cheeses vs. soft ones....
this may help to keep cheeses at their optimum for a longer period.
re: gordon wing
re: gordon's question about storing cheese: my friends at say cheese recommend wrapping each piece snuggly in fresh plastic wrap after cutting off of it. so that's what i do with mine. runny cheeses may need to be helped along with a little piece of parchment to help hold the shape. parchment alone is also an option, altho it is a little harder to keep wrapped around the pieces.
What to do with the variously runny parts of cheese is certainly a very personal thing. The one time I've had Humboldt Fog, I actually picked an older piece that had the runny stuff around the edges, cuz I LOVE that part. The inside was still fluffy and nice for salads etc, but the runny stuff is great for spreading on bread or fruit.
As for the moldy rind, i don't know if it's "edible" or not, but when it gets moldy like that i skip it. it's kinda bland anyway.
oh! you're making me hungry. i just love humboldt fog.
Melanie claims that cheese never spoils (g).
I'd say if it looks/tastes appetizing to you, you should go ahead and enjoy it, if it doesn't, don't.
Most of all, you shouldn't feel guilty for asking -- you didn't die Tuesday, but you might (as any of us might) die tomorrow, and it would be a shame not to have lived today at the fullest (including enjoying your cheese).
re: Ruth Lafler
Thank you everyone for all the info about Humboldt Fog cheese, and answering my questions. It is a wonderful cheese and this was the first time I was able to buy it in Seattle since I first heard about it on the chow boards (although I'm sure we get it from time to time it's not a regular item).