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Hölzige Geiss (Wooden Goat) - Raw goat milk Vacherin-style

Melanie Wong Feb 26, 2013 04:02 PM

Picked up a quarter-round of Hölzige Geiss at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco on Friday . . . and this was one of the few times that I've not tasted a cheese before buying it there. Big mistake, as I absolutely hated this and paid $12 ($39.99/lb) for the privilege.

Also called Holzerne Geiss, the name means "wooden goat". It's made in Vacherin style in the Swiss Alps and bound with a band of fir that imparts a smokey, piney note to the cheese. My example was quite different from this tasting note that describes it as "...mild upfront ... very little goatiness".

I suspect that my example was far riper. Squishy to the touch even when refrigerator temperature, most of the pale ivory paste had the "marshmallow" texture described, but about one-third of the core was liquid enough to be spoonable. I found the flavor to be quite tart, decaying meat-tasting, bitter, goaty, offensively pungent, and very earthy.

One of the smelliest cheeses I've run across, and even though I sliced off the washed rind mold and avoided eating, much of that still affected the taste. So stinky, I couldn't keep the debris in the house. Instead, I tossed it in the yard figuring it could keep away grazing deer and maybe even mountain lions.

The producer also makes a cow's milk cheese in the same style. I might give that a try . . . and I'll be sure to taste before buying.


  1. Delucacheesemonger Feb 28, 2013 02:16 PM

    l, as you, suspect your specimen was far from pristine. While usually a bit, and only as bit, stronger than the Swiss Reblochon it is very similar to, it should have been wonderful. Ignore this hiccup and try again, and of course, taste before buying. If you see one called Pechagos from the Ariege, very southern France, jump on it. Never had a nasty one yet. OTOH, many of the Swiss ,as those from Rolf Beeler, can get evil if kept too long.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
      Melanie Wong Feb 28, 2013 05:48 PM

      Thank you, this was not the fond farewell to the Vacherin-style cheese season. I shall have to find something else to create a cheese memory to last till autumn.

      P.S. I've not seen any deer or mountain lions though I am expecting a neighbor to lodge a complaint about the stench.

      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
        Porthos Mar 9, 2013 06:24 AM

        Just the person I needed to ask.

        Any idea what this "Cheuflada Beeler" is that I bought from Surfas OC? It's stinky and runny like Epoisses but much runnier and stinkier. Simply delicious though. I'm assuming its a Cheu Flada from Rolf Beeler. But google turns up not much when I search "Cheuflada". There is one mention of it by someone that had it as a cheese course at EMP in NYC. The closest I can find is a Stanser Flada. Is "Cheuflada" Rolf Beeler's own creation?

        1. re: Porthos
          Porthos Mar 9, 2013 06:32 AM

          To answer my own question:


          It appears the proper spelling is Chuefladae or Chueflada(a umlaut


          A list of other Rolf Beeler offerings with product info if you click on the name:


          1. re: Porthos
            Delucacheesemonger Mar 9, 2013 06:58 AM

            Sorry, no clue. l know Stanser Flada and love it. Beeler keeps getting new farms and stranger stuff, some are great, some are not. All expensive and some like the Hoche brigh (spelling) are nowhere as good as when first appeared, it was his first cheese in US.

        2. i
          INDIANRIVERFL Mar 1, 2013 01:47 PM

          Thank you for bringing back fond memories. The raw cows milk cheese was sold in 1 Kg wheels, and the center was richly soupy. Rarely found in Frankfurt, I hoarded it for my self.

          Plus finding somebody who would enjoy such an assault on the olfactory senses is obviously not easy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
            Melanie Wong Mar 4, 2013 11:04 AM

            Thanks for the reply. I had wondered to myself whether this stinky Holzige Geiss cheese might be too esoteric to inspire conversation and almost didn't post about it. But I did because I don't want this new board to be so bland and generic from an effort to reach out to everyone that it ends up serving no one.

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