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Jul 9, 2007 09:47 AM

An Ode to Humbolt Fog

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?

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  1. 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

      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. 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

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

        1. re: MMRuth

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

        1. 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

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

            1. re: liu

              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

                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

                  Liu, it can be had from Diamond Organics, for a pretty penny with shipping:

                  1. re: amyzan

                    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

                      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 will be well worth it!

          2. 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

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