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May 15, 2007 03:05 PM

How sexy is Humboldt Fog?

This cheese mouse just did a cheese run with mixed results. Epoisses and St. Marcellin were painfully unavailable **grrr..,mouse growls** ( and I want to give this new french guy a fair chance, but mostly I like the cheese). But something new to me caught my eye because of dreamy C'hound posts about Humboldt Fog. I passed because it is viciously expensive. Can some C'hound blow his/her foghorn and persuade me to spring for it, next trip?

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  1. I guess I'm going to break with the pack here. I've tried Humboldt Fog a couple of times, and while it's a good cheese, even a very good cheese, it wasn't world-changing for me. I wouldn't ever be disappointed to find it on a cheese tray, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it the way I would for Cowgirl Creameries Redhawk, or a really gooey epoisses.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Booklegger451

      Agreed, don't bother. It's not a bad cheese at all, but there is much more hype than flavor making up that inflated price tag.

    2. Humboldt Fog looks pretty sexy and will impress your friends, but won't be that astonishing in bed. Pretty rich and expects you to empty your wallet for her company, without really being able to make the investment worthwhile. When the two of you really get acquainted, you'll find that Humboldt Fog's alluring appearance and provocative reputation are accompanied by a bland lack of character, a dull lack of complexity and an unmemorable lack of depth. You know the type.

      You're better off going after a more plain looking cheese, whose apparent modesty hides a unique, enchanting personality known only to those with an intimate knowledge of the cheese.

      I can't stretch this metaphor any further.

      Don't buy the hype, or the cheese.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Michael Juhasz

        mr juhasz, this is one of the most entertaining posts i've read on CH recently - ;o)

        1. re: Michael Juhasz

          Mike, I'm from a small town in Connecticut and I never got out much. I just like to see every story have a happy ending.Thanks for weighing in from Romania!

        2. Danger, methaphor ahead?

          Descriptions of products by cheese experts remind me of the James Thurber cartoon of a wine snob host telling his guests, "It's a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption."

          Seriously, Humboldt Fog is one of my favorite cheeses, and price or not, don't you have to try it just to justify your curiosity? It's not something I buy every week, or even every month, but when I really need to give my tastebuds a jolt....

          Make sure you buy it fresh so you can experience the changing taste as it ages.

          1. It varies depending on how ripe it is. Truly ripe and downright oozy it is wonderful and very complex. But most stores have it far less ripe in which case it is a mild, pleasant goat cheese.

            13 Replies
            1. re: JudiAU

              I did the squeezy thing and the wedge was as rigid as styrofoam. Even extrapolating for a warm-up to room temp, oozy was not in the stars. I like oozy, but I got aced on my St. Marcellin and Epoisses. I'm making do with a triple cream St. Andre. (but the 6 year Grafton cheddar is a contender.)
              At 20 bucks a pound, do those Humboldt California goats have bodyguards?

              1. re: Veggo

                Some cheeses don't ripen properly after they've been cut. If the cheese store is selling wedge of pre-cut stuff, you might consider looking for an alternative source for this cheese. The perfect ripeness will make a real difference, especially for something like epoisse or Vacherin du Mont d'Or.

                1. re: limster

                  Thanks, limster. For a boutique item like Humboldt Fog, coming from California to Florida, very few carry it. I only get one bite at the apple- take it or leave it. I expect on my next trip I'll spend the 8 bucks for a wedge and hope I get lucky with the ripeness. Hey, you never take a chance, you never dance with a pretty girl. I read that somewhere a long time ago.

              2. re: JudiAU

                Yes, Humboldt Fog doesn't strut its stuff until it reaches the point where you get that liquidy, gooey layer just under the outside layer of mold.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Melanie just nailed it. Once the HF gets to that point it is terrific. We have a place in town that puts a bit on their sliders (ok, sliders are everywhere now) and it really makes them special.
                  Veggo, you might want to try brillat savarin or brunet (sp?), for my buck they beat the heck out of St Andre.

                  1. re: ibstatguy

                    And it's very easy to eyeball on a cut wedge, unlike some cheeses where the squeeze test fails when they're stored too cold. I do agree that the price is too high to settle for less, so be picky.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Another thing to watch for: it turns from white to yellowish as it gets gooeyer/gooier (sp?). More gooey.

                    2. re: ibstatguy

                      Or Explorateur, for my money the best of the commonly available French triple cremes.

                      1. re: BobB

                        won't argue the point as I like explorateur as well...

                        1. re: ibstatguy

                          My St. Andre is very underripe and flavorless. I like that first hint of ammonia scent in soft cheeses. Actually I like them nearly rotten.

                          The Grafton 6 year cheddar is an absolute allstar. My first experience.

                          I put explorateur on my list, thanks

                    3. re: Melanie Wong

                      EXACTLY! That is why it's my favorite cheese... it's got so much going on... just enough ooze, just enough tang, just enough funkiness...


                      1. re: Dommy

                        I guess I will have to pony up for the $8 wedge and see what this excitement is all about. A "Manon of the Spring" thing, what with the goats.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          Sigh, now I regret getting a Gorgonzola/Mascarpone tort today instead of the HF like I often do. There's something about that sandy texture and ooziness around the edges that really does it for me.

                          Gorgonzola torte from Whole Foods isn't bad. It would be a good introduction to Gorgonzola for someone who's used to triple creams but wants to foray into funkier cheeses: