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An Ode to Humbolt Fog

Pei Jul 9, 2007 09:47 AM

A few weeks ago someone posted about trying Humbolt Fog cheese for the first time and not getting the hype. I hadn't had it in a long time so I couldn't offer much besides "I've had it and liked it a lot," but a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl provided the perfect opportunity for me to cheese splurge this Saturday.

In two words: loved it.

Humbolt Fog is one of the most interesting cheeses on the California market, IMO. At first glance, it just stands out from all the other cheeses in the market. Pure white against ashes and mold--it's just a strikingly beautiful product.

Flavorwise, it has an incredible tang and deep goats' milk flavor that's hard to beat. And the strength of the cheese and its saltiness is for me the perfect balance to eat alone, without crackers or bread.

But for me, it's the texture that's beyond compare. It's hard to describe it to someone who hasn't savored Humbolt Fog, but it has a rich creaminess that tends more toward grainy than oily, with just a big of gooeyness if you get a piece with perfectly ripe edges.

Delicious cheese, with a beautiful name to match. That little wispy stripe of ash and the cheese's gauzy quality--what else would you name such a cheese but fog?

  1. femmenikita Jul 9, 2007 09:57 AM

    I had my first taste of Humboldt Fog about 2 months ago and have been hooked ever since. I always eat it plain, or with a very simple cracker or bread, but a couple weeks ago my SO mixed some in with a few eggs, scrambled 'em, and topped with a little black pepper, and of course it was delectable. Made the eggs so creamy and goaty tasting... I almost hate to use it in recipes because it's so good and beautiful on its own, but I wonder how others have combined it with various foods? Anyway I totally agree, Pei, long live the FOG

    1 Reply
    1. re: femmenikita
      liu Jul 9, 2007 08:51 PM

      I, too, have felt some guilt when I fail to honor its ability to stand alone and put it in a salad, for example. However, it does enhance anything that it accompanies.

    2. cheftori Jul 9, 2007 01:46 PM

      I love Humbolt Fog! Especially with crusty bread.
      My friends and i always joke that that is not grape ash in there. What is that other "crop" that Humbolt County is famous for? Ha, ha, ha.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cheftori
        MMRuth Jul 9, 2007 01:47 PM

        It's one of our favorite cheeses ... among many!

        1. re: MMRuth
          w
          wanderluster Jul 9, 2007 01:56 PM

          Absolutely agree. There is nothing better than a perfectly ripe wedge, with creamy edges and a crumbly center. Pair it with a crunchy baguette and a glass of white wine and I'm in heaven!

      2. sivyaleah Jul 9, 2007 01:58 PM

        I had to stop buying it - it's the crack of cheeses for me :-)

        1. kare_raisu Jul 9, 2007 03:47 PM

          I too am a huge fan of HF ... but if you enjoy it and cypress grove's other products - you owe it to yourself to give Elk Creamery's Organic 'Black Gold' a try. AMAZING - maybe just a bit better then HF. CA's only organic Goat dairy as well.

          6 Replies
          1. re: kare_raisu
            liu Jul 9, 2007 08:56 PM

            Hi, kare raisu!
            "...better than HF" -- I'm there!
            Where do you find this Elk Creamery's Organic Black Gold?

            1. re: liu
              kare_raisu Jul 11, 2007 02:19 PM

              I believe your best bet would be whole foods. I discovered yesterday that they even make a smoked chevre.

              Pass on the Camembert, liu, if you come across it -its just ok.

              1. re: kare_raisu
                liu Jul 11, 2007 07:44 PM

                kare raisu -- Coincidentally, I tried to find Elk Creamery's Organic Black Gold at Whole Foods Thousand Oaks today. Their cheese person told me she had never heard of it and proceeded to look very disinterested -- until I told her that someone had told me that this Black Gold cheese was BETTER than Humboldt Fog. Ah, then she perked up. "Better than Humboldt Fog? What is it called? I just don't believe that is possible!" However, they did not have it.

                I also can not believe that there is anything better than Humboldt Fog, so I will continue my chase. I have yet to check Bristol Farms; I like their cheese selection.

                1. re: liu
                  amyzan Jul 11, 2007 08:53 PM

                  Liu, it can be had from Diamond Organics, for a pretty penny with shipping: http://diamondorganics.com/prod_detai...

                  1. re: amyzan
                    liu Jul 11, 2007 10:30 PM

                    amyzan - Thanks for all the yummy photos on this site! I will save it just for the mouth-watering pics!
                    Since I am in the Los Angeles area, I will check around first, but I do appreciate the "Plan B" if I can't find it.

                    Goat cheeses were written up in the Food section of today's LA Times, and lo-and-behold, Elk Creamery's Organic Black Gold was mentioned! This is a good sign, so I am hopeful that I will find it.

                    1. re: liu
                      kare_raisu Jul 12, 2007 11:25 AM

                      Great to find out my claim of ' (tad) better' is supported by the La times!
                      I am working at the speciality department of the Whole Foods up here in Sonoma county - and we can hardly keep it in the coffin cases - despite the price even. Good luck on your hunt...it will be well worth it!

          2. winedubar Jul 9, 2007 03:56 PM

            color me hooked as well, its my favorite cheese....

            roast some figs, drape some prosciutto, drizzle some balsamic reduction, and have some hf on the side....just about heaven i'd say :)

            2 Replies
            1. re: winedubar
              liu Jul 9, 2007 08:57 PM

              I also enjoy Humboldt Fog drizzled with a thick balsamic vinegar...and perhaps a raspberry or two.

              1. re: winedubar
                cheftori Jul 10, 2007 05:45 PM

                Oh my goodness!

              2. p
                Panini Guy Jul 9, 2007 08:14 PM

                thank you for reminding me I still have about an ounce left in the fridge... excuse me now.

                1. liu Jul 9, 2007 08:48 PM

                  I agree with every word of praise for this amazingly delicious cheese...there is no other like it.

                  I have found some differences in the wedges offered from store to store. For example, Gelson's carries it, but most of their pieces have very little creaminess around the outside. In contrast, the wedges at Bristol Farms in Westlake Village are offered at perfect ripeness, with a wide creamy band around the outside. I much prefer the Bristol pieces and find them far more flavorful than any others -- except, perhaps, those at a cheese store.

                  1. ibstatguy Jul 9, 2007 09:03 PM

                    we've got a place down here in San Diego "Guild" that does kobe sliders with HF, omg, could eat 'em hand over fist

                    1. p
                      peppatty Jul 11, 2007 07:57 PM

                      I am not a fan of goat cheese except humbolt fog. I only eat it stuffed in ripe figs and drizzled with honey.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: peppatty
                        liu Jul 11, 2007 08:10 PM

                        Oh, yes...magic! For a variation on a theme, try adding a little really good, syrupy balsamic.

                      2. Melanie Wong Mar 16, 2013 09:57 PM

                        Nearly six years later, still in love?

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