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Mar 7, 2007 12:13 PM

There's goat cheese, and then there's GOAT CHEESE

...and I'm looking for the latter. I recently discovered how much I like it after coming to the realization that what I'd had before was the lesser quality stuff. Just had the real stuff at a French restaurant over the weekend and can't stop thinking about it. I've got company coming on Saturday and want to serve it for an app., but have NO idea what brand to buy. Whole Foods and Wegmanns have so many to choose from I don't know where to begin. Please help....I don't want just any goat cheese (and I'd prefer the plain, pure kind my first time outa the shoot).


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  1. Check out Humboldt Fog. It's made by a small company out in California.

    I'm fairly sure they carry it at Whole Foods. Let it come to room temp and it will get nice and creamy and the subtle flavors will come out.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Gnu23

      I offer a very LOUD second to your Humboldt Fog rec. This is -- in the poster's voice -- GOAT CHEESE (not goat cheese) at its best!

            1. re: sivyaleah

              I'm intrigued by the resounding endorsements, but I have to say that the "ring of edible ash" doesn't sound so appetizing. I can only presume that the ash doesn't taste like "ash."

              1. re: Meg

                Interesting - I didn't know it was 'ash', i thought it was a moldy vein sort of like blue cheeses. It's all good to me though - ash, mold, mud. Yes some cheese rinds are covered with mud - it all depends if you're rind person or not.

                1. re: Meg

                  It's such a negligably small ring of ash that you don't even notice it. More like a dusting than a solid layer.

                  1. re: Meg

                    Vegetable ash doesn't taste "ashy" and is a traditional french method. This is a delicious goat cheese and the name is apt. It has a delicate ethereal texture.

                    1. re: Meg

                      You taste nothing but wonderful goat cheese. The ash has no flavor. I sixth this recommendation.

                    2. re: sivyaleah

                      Go for doesn't get much better than that!

            2. Whole Foods will let you sample all of their cheese (it's an official corporate policy to always provide samples upon request). I never buy cheese from a cheesemonger that doesn't sample, because cheese changes from day to day, from batch to batch, from season to season, etc. Ask the cheese person for some goat cheese recs, sample them all, and then buy what you like.

              1. i dont know where you are located exactly, but if you are within reasonable traveling distance to nyc, it would be well worth your while to get to Artisanal fromagerie, on 32nd and park. You can dine there, or just go to the retail counter and taste any of their 175+ types of real cheese, not the pasteurized bullshit. They age the cheese themselves in onsite cheese caves. They have the best kinds of cheeses from all over the world, including many from right here in the us. And you can stand there and taste every goat cheese they have until you find the pefect cheese for you.

                1 Reply
                1. re: fisheat3

                  Unfortunately I'm in VA, but was in the city last weekend and wish I'd know about this place. It sounds divine. I'd have likely whiled away a whole day there.

                2. I find good quality artisan goat cheese at local farmer's markets. If you have any near you you should check it out. If goat cheese is availble I am sure you will be able to sample before purchasing.

                  1. maybe you haven't had necessarily all lesser quality stuff, it could be that it just wasn't aged enough for your tastes. was the cheese at the restaurant semi-firm? if so, it was probably aged a little bit. in general americans seem to like their goat cheese on the young side, while the french seem to like theirs aged. i'm with the french on this one, there's just so much more flavor to be had!

                    look for an edible ash on the outside of it, that's usually a sign it's been aged. ask questions, they should know what they're doing. at whole foods you might be able to find selles sur cher.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: the word yes

                      I once had a discussion with a French cheesemaker at our local farmer's market about liking strong goat cheese. She said most people in Minnesota don't, so they sell their cheeses young - too young, in her opinion. But she gave me a great tip: just leave the fresh goat cheese in the refrigerator for a month or two (or three). It keeps aging and eventually tastes really good.

                      Note that I'm talking about the creamy, soft, squishy type of goat cheese that usually comes in a log or round shape and is sealed in plastic. You know - the fresh stuff with the texture of cream cheese. I don't think I would try this with the crumbly-but-still-kinda-soft style of goat cheese. And hard goat cheese, like Goat Gouda, has already been aged.


                      1. re: AnneInMpls

                        AnneInMpls -- If we are speaking the same cheese language, and I think we are, I have been purchasing Humboldt Fog at a specialty market here in Southern Cal, and it has a dark, creamy layer of about 1/2inch around the cheese. It is the piece de resistance (sorry, I don't have the accents for this!). It is heavenly! I believe that this is the aging that you refer to. I have also purchased this same brand of Humboldt at other markets and it does not have this layer of creamy cheese (almost brie-like). I suspect that these latter markets do not serve their cheeses at the "proper" time.

                        1. re: liu

                          Actually, the goat cheese that I "refrigerator age" is quite different from a Humboldt Fog-type cheese with a dark outer layer. When I get Humboldt Fog, it doesn't sit around long enough to age - I eat it all right away. (Oooooh, now I have to go buy some!)

                          The ones I age are more like this:


                          But this highlights another aspect of "There's goat cheese, and then there's GOAT CHEESE" . There are several styles of goat cheese, which leads to much confusion when discussing them. Or cooking with them (one of my pet peeves is that recipes almost never say which style of goat cheese they mean). Ile de France logs are different from crottin du chavignol, which is different from Humboldt Fog, which is different from wine-cured goat cheese, which is different from Goat Gouda, and on and on ... This Amazon link shows lots of different varieties.


                          To get back to the OP's question - I would recommend calling the restaurant and asking what kind of cheese it was. I'm sure the restaurant would love to know that their goat cheese was a life-changing experience for you!