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Jun 6, 2007 10:27 AM

Is there such a thing as FIRM goat cheese - or does that mean it's gone bad?

I purchased some Fromager d'Affinois Florette goat cheese from Whole Foods last night. I took it out of the wrapping and let it sit for a while (expecting it to soften with room temperature)... not only did it not get soft (you could cut through it, but it was very firm) - it lacked flavor - which I found suprising for goat cheese!

Is anyone familiar with this cheese? I want to take it back to Whole Foods and ask for a refund (if they even do such a thing) - but if that's how the cheese is SUPPOSED to be, then I'll just chalk it up as a bad, adventurous purchase.... although, it seems as if it was stale. And, at 19.99/lb that hurts!

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  1. Florette should be very runny. It's a goat brie, so it should have a bloomy rind and a gooey center. Take it back, since you just purchased it last night.

    Taste wise- it's fairly mild as far as goat cheeses go, but it should have some bite.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cheesemonger

      Thank you!! - it had a bloomy rind, but wasn't even close to being gooey.

    2. Most grocery stores will take food back if you tell them the taste is off. No problem.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mojoeater

        Thanks for that thought - mojoeater. I've never actually taken anything back to the store, and feel a bit sheepish to do so... but for the price I paid for the cheese (and my tight budget these days!) - it seems so wrong to throw it out and chalk it up to bad luck.

        1. re: The Oracle

          I have had to take one or two things back to Whole Foods, and they were very accomodating in each case. I agree though that there is a degree of awkwardness in returning to a food store to return something!

          1. re: italyinmind

            Follow-up report:

            I found my receipt and took the product back this afternoon. There was no wait at the customer service counter and I explained to them that the cheese seemed off. They didn't even bat an eye. Seems like food returns are a common occurance! (I'm amazed at this!) They quickly filled out a return slip and instructed me to take it to the cashier.

            Couldn't have been easier! Thanks so much for all your input! The added bonus was I strolled around the store, figuring I'd buy something with the credit and found these inexpensive cereal/soup bowls I'd envisioned in my head and been hunting for everywhere! I've never looked twice at their dinnerware/serveware section before - and I was so thankful I was aimlessly browsing!

            1. re: The Oracle

              Excellent- glad to hear it. One way, in future, to know what you are getting, is to ask for a sample. Some WFs are more open to the idea, some you really have to ask. Start with "Can you tell me something about this Florette?", and that should be the sampling "in" Sometimes they know something, but if not, they should take advantage of the opportunity to taste it themselves. If it's not offered then, you can still gently say- "is it possible to try a tiny bit?".

              But then you don't get to find cereal bowls....

              1. re: The Oracle

                Yes, Whole Foods seems very generous with their return policy - basically, they will take anything back.

                A few weeks ago, the checker asked if I'd found everything I was looking for, and when I mentioned that I'd really wanted escarole but the escarole was moldy, he gave me the brocolli rabe I'd chosen instead for free. Of course this sort of thing must drive prices up, but it makes for warm fuzzies for the customer.

        2. One simple way to classify cheese;

          1) Soft cows’ milk cheese with white mould - Brie. Camembert...

          2) Soft cows’ milk cheese, washed rind - Epoisses, Pont-l'Eveque...

          3) Cows’ milk Blue cheese - Fourme d’Ambert, stilton, gorgonzola...

          4) Cows’ milk hard cheese - Reblochon, Tomme, cheddar...

          Goat and sheep milk cheeses can similarly be classified as soft, washed rind, blue and hard. When it comes to goat cheeses, the French rarely consider making them hard. Look to the Iberian Peninsula for these. Montsec and Garrotxa from Catalonia, Cabra Pimentao from Transmontana, Ribafria from Torres Vedras

          4 Replies
          1. re: grocerytrekker

            Reblochon is not a hard cheese, it's a soft washed rind.

            1. re: grocerytrekker

              Not sure anybody should say cheese is simple. After all Charles de Gaulle used cheese as the metaphor for why France is so famously difficult to govern...
              When somebody is just learning about cheese, too much information is overwhelming and intimidating. Who likes to feel inferior? The OP was talking about goat cheese from WF, not exotic stuff from Catalonia.
              The best approach is tasting, learning what you like and then expanding your knowledge. Then cheese is the pleasure it's meant to be.

              1. re: MakingSense

                Actually, firm/aged goat cheeses are pretty common and are made all over. You can make any style of cheese you make with cow's milk with goat's milk.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Yeah, they are common. It's not even unusual to find them at farmers' markets. That's why I said that too much information or getting too esoteric might be overwhelming to someone asking for simple guidance.