humboldt fog funk????
I just tasted the oft revered humboldt fog today, along with the truffle counterpart. we just moved to NJ from London, and i have been reading rapturous reports of this cheese from afar for ages. I found it today at WF. I was completely underwhelmed, and more than overtaken by a sharp tangy-ness that completely erased any pleasure from taste. I didn't taste any fullness, richness or depth of flavor that i expect from years of eating chevre in europe. The truffled one tasted the same; only with truffles.... Have i tasted a bad batch of the nectar???? Please tell me that all of these months of anticipation haven't been for naught.... Maybe a better source? thanks.
Forgive me if you knew this, but keep in mind Humboldt Fog and Truffle Tremor are aged cheese, unlike chevre which is fresh. So they are much stronger. I don't know if it is common to age goat cheese, but if you've been eating fresh cheese, then yeah, it's quite different. Cypress Grove also makes fresh chevre. I think Humboldt Fog and Truffle Tremor are wonderful, they're pretty unlike anything else. And I think the big deal about Cypress Grove is that they are fairly unique, not that they make the best chevre you will ever have. Then again I live in Humboldt County so I've only had untraveled Cypress Grove products and perhaps something bad happened in transit...don't know. Perhaps you should try their chevre and see what you think.
I've had several cheeses from Cypress Grove in the various places I've worked. The Purple Haze is probably my favorite, but the Humboldt Fog is good as well. I'm usually the 'official' cheese sampler wherever I work, so I notice when a batch isn't as good as the last. When I lived back East, sometimes the cheeses we got shipped to us, including those from Cypress Grove - they tasted terrible. I think that many times they got frozen, thawed, and who knows what else in transit. There have been times when the paper wrappers on the Humboldt Fog I've received have not come off without a fight. Freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw, melt and freeze again = cheese that is still SAFE to eat... but not cheese that you'd WANT to eat.
Now that I'm living out West... I haven't had a bad Cypress Grove product. The cheeses are a bit different than alot of the artisan cheeses out on the market. I wouldn't say they are the BEST, but they are alot better than most. I like the fact that Cypress Grove is trying to create something unique, but I'm getting almost tired of hearing about them - since every restaurant serves at least one of their products.
Go to a good cheese shop. I don't know how it is in NY, but in Calif too many Whole Foods do not do a good job of caring for cheese.
That being said, I don't thing many American cheeses are in the same class as European cheeses yet. The cheesemaking industry is still in the early stages here.
I learned about it here. It's good, but not extraordinary. Temperature at serving doesn't matter much. I eat it plain, just a cheese knife and a plate and a hunk of cheese. I enjoy the variations in texture and flavor from the outside, in. I applaud the ladies who bless us with their cheese. And I would clap more loudly if it were $5/lb less costly.
Can you describe the piece a little? When young, the Fog has a consistent paste up to the rind. As it ages, the enzymes in the rind break down the paste, and a layer forms that is riper, funkier, more gooey. As the cheese ages, this layer increases in size.
Some people love it aged and stinkier, and others prefer the younger fog- it's really a personal preference. What did your piece look like?
As far as freezing goes with this cheese- I've had a wheel that's been frozen, and it disintegrates into crumbs. I mean, it's impossible to cut without it completely falling apart, was this your experience?