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Three Billy Goats Gruff- Chevre - Cheese of the Month (Sept 2013)

h
HillJ Sep 1, 2013 08:13 PM

Wikip: Chevre a generic term which denotes a cheese made from the milk of goats; with the word chevre meaning goat in French. This type of cheese can come in a wide range of forms, from soft farmer's cheeses to fully cured firm varieties. Chevre also runs the flavor gamut, with some retaining a characteristic goaty flavor while other chevres are much more mild and buttery.

I’m selecting Chevre. Since the launch of the CH Cheese board I’ve been a tad “overpowered” by the truly rich, exotic and rare cheeses that consumed my early spring and summer buying thanks to amazing recommendations here and travels abroad which clearly sidetracked my deep love for sublime goat cheese; both mild to wild and in price points every kitchen can handle.

My selection to get you started (with a playful nod to one of my favorite fairytales):

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0122e.html#gruff

Billy Goat (youngster): PsycheDillic- label reads goat milk, salt, dill pollen, dill, cultures and enzymes-your cheese loving palate reads-DELICIOUS.

Billy Goat (father): Chili & Hot Chèvre medium heat with New Mexico Green Chile, jalapeños and garlic. http://theoldwindmilldairy.com/shop/chili-hot-chevre/

Billy Goat (grandfather): Brunet-goaty tang, earthy, grownup.
http://www.murrayscheese.com/brunet.html#

For the Troll who was never seen again (& if he was chow worthy fled to the kitchen)
a homemade cherve from Parsley, Sage & Sweet:
http://parsleysagesweet.com/2012/09/30/cheeseballs-and-cheese-filled-turkish-flatbread-for-cheesepalooza-plus-part-17/

So, I look forward to learning more from each of you. What do you like? What brands do you favor? How do you enjoy these darlings and what vino do you enjoy alongside? The cheese world has a great deal to say about chevre. http://www.bellechevre.com/goat-cheese-health-benefits.php

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/541932
What's your favorite thing to do with chevre?
CH circa 2008

HillJ-reporting in, as promised. : 0 )

  1. h
    HillJ Sep 1, 2013 08:22 PM

    http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/su...

    Our Labor Day picnic includes this recipe from F&W. Lovely pairing of chevre and radishes.

    1. jpr54_1 Sep 1, 2013 09:05 PM

      thanx
      this is going to be fun

      7 Replies
      1. re: jpr54_1
        h
        HillJ Sep 2, 2013 08:09 AM

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/896070
        Giddy for Goat Cheese thread from back in March.
        I recall the brand I mention in the OP offering excellent quality goat cheese and their recipe file has some interesting ideas.

        jpr, what goat cheeses do you currently enjoy and how have you used the cheese?

        1. re: HillJ
          jpr54_1 Sep 2, 2013 08:27 AM

          I usually do not cook with goat cheese-
          right now I have a cheapy goat cheese log from publix
          I have purchased a young goat gouda from Whole Foods.
          I don't have a car right now-so itis a chore to take bus to Cheese Course or Whole Foods.
          I will be going to Whole Foods tomorrow morning

          1. re: jpr54_1
            h
            HillJ Sep 2, 2013 10:06 AM

            Have fun cheese shopping! I look forward to reading about what you've purchased.

            1. re: HillJ
              jpr54_1 Sep 2, 2013 11:23 AM

              The courtesy bus was working today so off I went to Whole Foods.
              Just got back-
              coach farm rawstruck(USA)-unpasteurized goat's milk
              snorfrisk norseland(Norway)
              laura chenel melodie-
              cypress grove minight moon(Holland)
              humboldt fog(USA)
              I bought small wedges of the above
              I have fresh figs and homemade fig jam to accompany them.

              1. re: jpr54_1
                h
                HillJ Sep 2, 2013 12:49 PM

                Oh my goodness that's awesome. Can't wait to read your review! WF's has a bounty of goat cheeses, you did quite well selection wise.

                1. re: jpr54_1
                  jpr54_1 Sep 7, 2013 02:32 PM

                  I have sampled them all-
                  my favorite was the laura chenel melodie
                  not too salty and was a little tangy

                  my least favorite was
                  humboldt fog
                  it reminded me too much of blue cheese

              2. re: jpr54_1
                h
                HillJ Sep 2, 2013 01:38 PM

                I recall you mentioning once before that you do not cook with goat cheese. But, I'll share this link with you in the hopes of engaging your open mind :) because it changed my mind about baking with goat cheese early on:

                http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/recipes/b...

                This tart is an all-star. Beautiful presentation, outstanding pairing for goat cheese & figs and so darn tasty you'll make it for only your very deserving family & friends. Don't let the pastry send you running-it's super simple.

                eta: this recipe is posted in the Giddy for Goat Cheese thread but I noticed the link expired; website was redone.

          2. h
            HillJ Sep 1, 2013 11:25 PM

            Above my reference to chevre, PsycheDillic from Cypress Grove, is missing the link. Found here:

            http://www.cypressgrovechevre.com/our...

            1. Veggo Sep 2, 2013 05:11 AM

              One of my favorite sandwiches is a baguette with prosciutto, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, a few basil leaves, a little olive oil.
              HillJ, I hope you had a great vacation!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Veggo
                h
                HillJ Sep 2, 2013 07:11 AM

                Veggo, that combination is a winner. Goat cheese is so versatile to begin with; sweet to savory. If you enjoy this cheese there really are no losers in how to use and enjoy it.

                For years, I made a super simple icebox pineapple cake for family parties with the typical cream cheese frosting until one year I decided to try using the nice large log of goat cheese I had on hand. In a KA, I whipped the goat cheese until fluffy with a bit of fresh pineapple juice (drained off from the pineapple I had roughly grated for the cake) instead. The goat “frosting” was such a terrific counter to the natural sweetness of the fruit I never looked back. Guests usually asked me what type of cream cheese I used for the frosting and were so surprised when I shared the mystery tang was goat cheese. Chevre spread on a slice of grilled fresh pineapple is probably up there as one of my five favorite fruit desserts…and that’s saying something.

                On the savory side, as I’m sure goat cheese lovers already know, endless possibilities. Pizza or just a flatbread fresh out of the oven with a drizzle of that olive oil you mention and a spread of room temp chevre, cracked black pepper and mashed black olives …oh my..just simple perfection. Phone don’t ring when I’m in the zone!

                So, I hope this month’s selection with unlimited potential and approachable pricing (from $1.99 @ Aldi’s and they offer a fine goat cheese in two varieties) to say $45.00 (a splurge to be sure but I still recount the experience) should be room enough for goat lovin’ CH’s to explore and report back. The way I see it, goat cheese is far from boring.

                My work/vacation was outstanding. Thank you for asking. I’m going to need far more than a few hours of sleep and the fumes of travel permeating my skin to recount the tales of photographing bread in parts of Montreal, Prague and Spain. Sometimes life throws you a ball when you’re ready to play catch!

                1. re: HillJ
                  Veggo Sep 2, 2013 07:20 AM

                  I look forward to those who can extoll the virtues of Humboldt Fog and goat Gouda more eloquently than I could...I really like both.

                  1. re: Veggo
                    h
                    HillJ Sep 2, 2013 07:27 AM

                    Me too!

                    As I recall, the goat Gouda purchased from Murray's Cheese and TJ's were both lovely. Murray's offering was fantastic and sliced right from the cut with no doctoring up delicious and TJ's worked well for us in grilled cheeses. Before the recommendation, I had never tried goat Gouda. As for HFog, well that cheese is special. Every cheese lover needs to experience the 'fog' :)

              2. p
                Phoebe Sep 2, 2013 09:44 AM

                Love your pick HillJ... Welcome back! Now I have an excuse to make one of my favorite summertime grilling recipes. Goat Cheese wrapped in Grape Leaves served with a tomato & olive salad. Great use of garden tomatoes and fresh thyme. Can be made in advance and grilled last minute. Make sure to have some grilled bread on hand for the juices!

                www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Phoebe
                  h
                  HillJ Sep 2, 2013 10:05 AM

                  Thank you, Phoebe. I just read through the recipe link. Grape leaves as a vehicle for this combo sounds so good.

                  Question: what brand of grape leaves do you use? I have had such consistent bum luck with jarred grape leaves that fall apart that if I grilled using them I'd be a bit concerned about the pockets holding up. Any recommendations there? Txs.

                2. DonShirer Sep 2, 2013 04:13 PM

                  Grandfather,Father,Baby? Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin! Those three goats were brothers when I was told the tale...but let that pass (like the goats).

                  I only sample goat cheese about once a month, and then its usually a variety I haven't tried before. My latest purchase was Coupole, from the Vermont Creamery. Comes in little 6.5oz containers, mold ripened, yeasty, crinkly crust. Very tasty but also pricey. Almost as good as Kunik or Humboldt Fog, my favorite.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: DonShirer
                    h
                    HillJ Sep 2, 2013 04:30 PM

                    All in good fun (think: cheesy). However, you stand corrected. The Norway tale, my favorite, portrays the story with three billy goats:a youngster, a father, and a grandfather. LOL. Had you taken a moment to read the link I provided in the OP for the international fairy tale log you would have seen like any great fairy tale the stories change with the country storyteller. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Billy_Goats_Gruff
                    I did my homework :) and it appears you don't know (chinny chin chin from your 3 billy goats gruff) much about fairy tales. I'll let that pass :)

                    I've never given Coupole a try but the Vermont Creamery makes so many fine cheeses, I'll add that to my cheese bucket list. http://www.vermontcreamery.com/coupole-1

                    Your remark about a variety goat cheese is spot on-there are so many incredible choices to sample. One reason I selected chevre was the abundance of choices.

                    1. re: HillJ
                      DonShirer Sep 3, 2013 03:25 PM

                      I referred to my "chinny chin chin" because when it comes to cheese, I'm a little pig!

                      1. re: DonShirer
                        Veggo Sep 3, 2013 03:30 PM

                        Don, we are overgrown cheese mice!

                        1. re: DonShirer
                          h
                          HillJ Sep 3, 2013 03:35 PM

                          Sorry Don, my mind didn't get the reference. I was thinking goats. Keep those cheese recommendations coming. You have a good deal of experience.

                      2. re: DonShirer
                        h
                        HillJ Sep 2, 2013 04:47 PM

                        And, Don, thank you for mentioning a triple cream containing goats milk/Jersey cow cream called, Kunik. I like it with berries. But, last time I found it (hard to find in my area) I enjoyed the cheese with roasted peaches.

                        http://www.nettlemeadow.com/kunik.html

                        1. re: DonShirer
                          galleygirl Oct 9, 2013 08:49 AM

                          I love Coupole. LIke all surface ripened cheeses, it gets better every week, the longer you keep it before breaking the rind.
                          Most of Vermont Creamery's semi-ripened goat cheeses are made to be eaten between two weeks and three months old, but Coupole is best, IMHO, at the sell-by date, or about a month after, if you can hold back...

                          While you're waing, grab a Bonne Bouche. It's an ash-ripened goat cheese similar to a Sel sur Cher (sp?), but it has a geotricum culture on the outside, that coaxes more of a rind from it...I call it Humboldt Fog without the boring parts...And really, it is; it's the rind, and the good goo around the edges, with less of the chalky paste in the middle. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It just won a first place in the ACS annual meeting...

                          For fresh chevre, which I think, is what this thread started with? Try to find fresh crottin from Vermont Creamery...Drier than what we usually call "chevre" in the US, it is so unabashedly MILKY, and you can age it like they do in France; uncovered, so it gets brittle and tangy, or wrapped, so it gets flabby and saggy, and a bigger flavor...

                          Note; I often sample these cheeses, so I am totally biased...OTOH, I got to know a LOT about them... ;)

                          1. re: DonShirer
                            galleygirl Oct 9, 2013 08:52 AM

                            Don't forget; goat cheese has less calories, less fat, less sodium and less cholesterol than a comparable cows' milk cheese...Go for the goat if it's weight loss you desire!

                            Best bet? Bonne Bouche from Vermont Creamery is 240 calories for the whole four ounce cheese...Just sayin'....

                          2. e
                            EmBrooks Sep 3, 2013 08:58 AM

                            Great selection for September. Over the weekend we made a new-to-us appetizer that will be added to our regular rotation. Crostini with fresh goat cheese, fig jam and procuitto. We used goat cheese from Looking Glass Creamery in western NC. www.ashevillecheese.com

                            I'm using this CoTM as an excuse to go play in the cheese section today - will report back!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: EmBrooks
                              h
                              HillJ Sep 3, 2013 09:09 AM

                              Nice to see you here, EmB. Thanks for joining in and sharing your goat cheese experience. My family is getting back to the beautiful Asheville area in April '14 and you can beat cheese will be on our food sojourn.

                              Looking forward to your report!

                            2. h
                              HillJ Sep 3, 2013 12:14 PM

                              My local cheesemonger came through with a special order I made in preparation for this thread. Two goat's milk cheeses completely new to me. Has anyone tried either?

                              Jeune Autize, a goat's milk Morbier
                              http://www.sfgate.com/food/cheesecourse/article/Jeune-Autize-a-goat-s-milk-Morbier-4244210.php

                              A triple cream from NY's Coach Farm
                              http://www.coachfarmstore.com/coach-f...

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: HillJ
                                h
                                HillJ Sep 23, 2013 08:09 PM

                                My family enjoyed both of these cheeses in my absence. The triple cream was the favorite.

                                1. re: HillJ
                                  h
                                  HillJ Oct 1, 2013 12:23 PM

                                  http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/10/se...

                                  Serious Eats mentioned three unusual goat cheeses I haven't tried:
                                  Chèvre de Argental, France
                                  Vare, Spain
                                  Bûcheron, France

                                  Has anyone tried these?

                                  1. re: HillJ
                                    Delucacheesemonger Oct 1, 2013 01:46 PM

                                    The first is relatively new, from pasteurized milk and IMVHO, very inocuous, thus for me gooey yet quite boring, lacking character.

                                    The third is one of the first chevres to come from France into the USA and was developed for the US market as other than this very few cheeses from France at that time were from pasteurized milk. It has a thick crust/rind that is edible and when in good condition has a gooey layer underneath with a firm core beneath that. A decent chevre but far better out there.If the gooey layer is grey, it may be too old and has a too pronounced chevre flavor.

                                    Number two Vare, while from pasteurized milk is one of my top three chevres. Made in Asturias, Spain, site of so many wonderful cheeses, this large hockey puck sized round is hard, with deep goat flavor and a softer yet hard inner core that has perfect toothsomeness. Goes great with the quince paste served with Manchego. Great story about this product, when the maker was divorcing his last wife the court told him he must split profits from the cheese for x years. He decided screw it and stopped making the cheese as Lionel Ritchie stopped singing in the late 80's and 90's for the same reason. The cheese is now being made again as the time for the sharing has elapsed and l for one welcome its return.

                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                      h
                                      HillJ Oct 1, 2013 01:51 PM

                                      Thank you so much, Del! Your write up and (great!) story about Vare was so much more than what's appearing on SE. Glad I asked. Now, I need to keep an eye out!

                                      While in Spain, I did not have the chance to sample much cheese, can you believe it! My team spent too much time sampling the beverages :)

                                    2. re: HillJ
                                      Delucacheesemonger Oct 1, 2013 02:05 PM

                                      Just read the Serious Eats article, she certainly describes items far differently than l do, YIKES !

                                  2. e
                                    EmBrooks Sep 3, 2013 05:41 PM

                                    Tonight's goat cheese plate included bucheron (an old favorite) and two cheeses I have never had:

                                    - garrotxa, a semi firm goat cheese from Corsica http://www.murrayscheese.com/garrotxa-la-bauma.html#. I really enjoyed this cheese on an apple.

                                    - Carr valley Billy Blue Goat - i bought this because of the title of this post and am so glad i did because I loved it. It is a fairly mild and creamy blue. Was great with honey drizzled over but i really just enjoyed it alone on a plain baguette. Will definitely be buying this one again. http://www.carrvalleycheese.com/artis...

                                    Excited to continue to branch out from my standby goat cheeses!

                                     
                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: EmBrooks
                                      h
                                      HillJ Sep 3, 2013 05:55 PM

                                      Outstanding share and a photo ta boot! Lovely. I'll be adding the selections to my own wishlist. I haven't had either. Where did you source the cheeses? WF's, cheese shop, online? Appreciate the nod to the OP's title. I've only used the Recommend feature twice on CH and tonight you've won me over.

                                      1. re: HillJ
                                        e
                                        EmBrooks Sep 3, 2013 06:22 PM

                                        The cheeses are from Earthfare - a grocery chain down here that has a great cheese section. I meant to mention that in the original post. Going to go to my local cheese shop for the next goaty go around. This month will not be good for postpartum weight loss. Oh well! :)

                                        1. re: EmBrooks
                                          h
                                          HillJ Sep 3, 2013 09:35 PM

                                          Oh thanks for letting me know it was local. The new ShopRite that opened nearby has a super sized cheese dept with the "International" cheeses in a separate frig. I have been amazed by what they are carrying. When I get back to NJ I'm going to head over and see what they have in goat's milk.

                                          (That new baby will keep you active! I try not to think about the calories when I splurge on cheese, buzz kill. I just get on the bike and stroll the boardwalk instead.)

                                      2. re: EmBrooks
                                        Delucacheesemonger Sep 7, 2013 01:31 PM

                                        ' garrotxa, a semi firm goat cheese from Corsica'

                                        Just a small point but Garroxta, an excellent product, is from the Spanish Pyrenees not Corsica.

                                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                          e
                                          EmBrooks Sep 26, 2013 02:59 PM

                                          You are right, of course! Thank you for setting the record straight - I thought I saw Corsica on the label from the store, but when I was there today I double checked and no mention of Corsica. Apparently I hallucinated it...

                                      3. h
                                        HillJ Sep 3, 2013 06:19 PM

                                        It looks like the Sept COTM is off to a nice start. My thanks to each of you for helping me kick off goat cheese/chevre.

                                        I'll be working out of state the rest of September and happily leave this thread in your capable and enthusiastic cheese nibbling hands.

                                        I tend to take a cheat sheet with me when I blank out in the middle of a cheese shop overwhelmed by all the pretty packages!. Primers like this help me focus on what to look for:
                                        http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipe...

                                        So, have a blast and happy cheese shopping! I look forward to reading all about your goat cheese experiences when I return.

                                        1. Melanie Wong Sep 4, 2013 05:19 PM

                                          Haven't tried it, but just read about Haitian goat cheese. Has anyone run across this?

                                          "Not to be confused with the creamier varieties of France, Camp Perrinese goat cheese is tangy and mixed with chopped onions and a bit of garlic."
                                          https://medium.com/medium-for-haiti/b...

                                          1. r
                                            Ridge Sep 7, 2013 12:06 PM

                                            Just so I am clear, does this encompass all goat cheeses, hard and soft from Blue goat cheese to goat brie and goat feta cheese?

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Ridge
                                              Veggo Sep 7, 2013 01:24 PM

                                              Yup. All of 'em. Share with us!

                                              1. re: Veggo
                                                r
                                                Ridge Sep 8, 2013 09:08 PM

                                                Comments soon.

                                                 
                                                 
                                                 
                                                1. re: Ridge
                                                  r
                                                  Ridge Sep 8, 2013 09:13 PM

                                                  I love goat cheese. I favor the stronger runny goat cheeses. They can have a deep satisfying flavor and tanginess and feel less heavy than cow cheese.

                                                  My husband and I just tasted 3 goat cheeses we got at the Cheesboard in Berkeley:

                                                  Besace du Berger- from France. This one is commonly available at the cheeseboard. It is one of our favorites. It is ash covered and comes as a small dome (they are around $9 per dome). Underneath the “skin” is a softer runny layer. After the runny layer is the cheese itself. This cheese has a smooth velvety rather than creamy mouth feel. Husband sais the paste reminds him of camembert. The flavor is moderately goaty, buttery with a resonating tanginess. Highly recommended.

                                                  Agra langa Nerina- An Italian goat cheese. First time trying this one. Also ash covered with a runny layer underneath the skin. The paste on this one was slightly similar in texture to the first but was more moist and less velvety. A bit more similar in texture to the ubiquitous mild soft goat cheeses. The flavor was very different. The flavor was strongly goaty and sharp rather than tangy. Highly recommended.

                                                  Bleu de bocage- The was a blue goat cheese from France. One of the pricier cheeses there at around $30 per pound. Grainy texture, salty, earthy, more blueish than goatish. Nice sharpness. I thought it had an herbal character I could not put my finger on. Highly recommended.

                                                  1. re: Ridge
                                                    h
                                                    HillJ Sep 11, 2013 01:28 PM

                                                    Sneaking in while I have time to read! Thanks for the recommendations, Ridge.

                                            2. Melanie Wong Sep 11, 2013 05:47 PM

                                              Tried Heartland's goat gouda, $9.99/lb. Described as mild and mozzarella-like . . . not to my palate. I was going to use it as a mozz substitute with an uncooked tomato sauce, and it turned out to be closer to ricotta salata in salt level and intensity. Some crystals and decidedly goaty, not as sweet/nutty as some goudas can be. I did like it and now know to expect something else.

                                              http://heartlandcreamery.com/products...

                                               
                                              1. Veggo Sep 11, 2013 06:01 PM

                                                Publix advertises goat cheese 4 oz. package 2 for $4 Sept. 12 through 18.

                                                1. h
                                                  HillJ Sep 14, 2013 11:14 AM

                                                  I popped in to share my niece gave this DIY goat cheese kit a try. $30.00 with loads of hand holding instructions & a video produced 10 12 oz logs. You can flavor and stud them any way you please. Fresh and ready to enjoy!

                                                  http://www.bellechevre.com/cheese-kit...

                                                  1. jpr54_1 Sep 15, 2013 01:26 PM

                                                    after trying several different cheeses-i realizei do not like blue veined /mold cheeses

                                                    1. jpr54_1 Sep 15, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                      i have enjoyed most of the goat cheeses i have tried so far.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: jpr54_1
                                                        h
                                                        HillJ Sep 15, 2013 02:05 PM

                                                        I enjoyed a goat cheese studded with walnuts this morning along with toasted Russian rye bread and warmed molasses. Made the rest of the day worthwhile :)

                                                        1. re: jpr54_1
                                                          h
                                                          HillJ Sep 23, 2013 08:09 PM

                                                          Did you have a particular favorite, jpr?

                                                        2. r
                                                          Ridge Sep 22, 2013 08:29 PM

                                                          I got 3 more goat cheeses from the Cheeseboard in Berkeley to taste. I recommend all of them.

                                                          The first is Columbiers from France. This one is regularly available at the cheeseboard and we have enjoyed it in the past. It has a dense velvety mouth coating texture and rich flavor. Slightly tangy, moderately goaty and earthy.

                                                          Second was Le Sarlet Chevrefeuille from France. Full flavored. Very goaty with a little bit of washed rind character. Runny, slightly tacky mouthfeel similar to runny Brie. Reminded me of goat Brie.

                                                          Third was Twig farms Washed rind wheel from Vermont. This is a goat cheese but sometimes has cow blended in. Stinky and definitely not for the timid. Layers upon layers of rich strong flavors. Reminiscent of Red Hawk, Stinking Bishop and a ripe Muenster. Was my favorite of the tasting.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Ridge
                                                            r
                                                            Ridge Sep 22, 2013 08:43 PM

                                                            Accompanying pictures

                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            1. re: Ridge
                                                              h
                                                              HillJ Sep 23, 2013 08:08 PM

                                                              The Red Hawk comparison really helped me get a sense of what you meant by a rich strong flavor. When I served Red Hawk over the summer I was the only one who really enjoyed it. I'll have to keep an eye out for some of your rec's here, Ridge. Thanks for making so many interesting suggestions this month.

                                                            2. p
                                                              Phoebe Sep 25, 2013 06:28 AM

                                                              I'd forgotten how much I loved goat cheese. Two of my three choices are well known.

                                                              Humboldt Fog ~ I had tried it before and didn't care for it, but wanted to revisit it again. (I know here on CH it's a love/ hate thing.) Glad I did, loved it this time around. Very pricey, but well worth the splurge. I'm at a loss as to why more don't love this great cheese!

                                                              Coupole ~ Made by the Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery. A must try for those that haven't. One of the few cheeses that I actually like the rind. Would like to try their Bijou or Bonne Bouche, both goat cheeses.

                                                              Verde Capra (Green Goat) ~ An Italian blue goat cheese from the Lombardy region, that's only been produced for about six years. Dense and creamy, restrained in its saltiness. I didn't find it strong in flavor as either a blue cheese, or it being made from goat's milk. I liked it, but not as well as many other blues out there.

                                                              I'd still like to try a goat cheddar or gouda.....

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Phoebe
                                                                Delucacheesemonger Sep 25, 2013 07:28 AM

                                                                Midnight Moon also by Cypress Grove is THE goat gouda in my dreams. Yes more expensive than the ones around but so much better than all others.

                                                                1. re: Phoebe
                                                                  e
                                                                  EmBrooks Sep 30, 2013 11:23 PM

                                                                  I tried the Bonne Bouche last night. It was delicious. I love their coupole and bijou (which I can never seem to find which is too bad because in am a sucker for tiny rounds of cheese - so cute!!) and I loved this cheese. I enjoyed it plain on a French batard as well as with a little of my beloved fig jam. The label suggested serving with dark chocolate so I tried that and for lack of a more sophisticated description thought it was gross. The cheese overpowered the chocolate and it was just generally a waste of two perfectly delicious foods.

                                                                  1. re: EmBrooks
                                                                    r
                                                                    Ridge Oct 1, 2013 06:01 AM

                                                                    I am also a fan of the Bonne Boucher. I did not try it for the September COTM because I don't remember seeing it when I was picking cheeses. I find it's a very reliable cheese. Has a perfect tang and level of goatyness. Someone at the Berkeley cheeseboard told me a story that I hope I don't bungle in remembering. Bonne Boucher learned their cheese making skills from a well regarded goat cheese producer in France. I forget the French producer. The cheeses at the French producer were going downhill but the producer was revitalized by the interaction with Bonne Boucher and now makes excellent cheeses again. I tried some of the French goat and it was excelent. I hope I am remembering the story correctly.

                                                                2. e
                                                                  EmBrooks Sep 26, 2013 02:56 PM

                                                                  We had a hint of fall weather this morning which prompted some cooking. I discovered two new recipes using goat cheese that we loved:

                                                                  Lunch was Butternut squash & apple soup w goat cheese. I used leftover bucheron for the cheese that is blended into the soup after i discovered too late that the chevre i had planned to use was past its prime. This made the soup extra rich, but in the future I will use fresh goat cheese. We topped it with fresh goat cheese from split creek farms - a SC based dairy. http://www.whatkatieate.com/recipes/roasted-pumpkin-apple-soup-with-goats-cheese-and-bacon/

                                                                  Dessert tonight is goat cheese cake with rosemary and honey. OMG, these are good! I was worried about the rosemary being a bit weird in a dessert, but am so glad I tried it! http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/go...

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: EmBrooks
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                                                                    HillJ Sep 26, 2013 03:07 PM

                                                                    Oh my EmB, they both look really good.

                                                                  2. Melanie Wong Sep 27, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                                    "Pico" Picadine en Perigord, 3.5 ounces, $7 at Star Market in Salinas.

                                                                    It comes in a wooden box, here's what it looks like,
                                                                    http://www.cheezwhse.com/detail.php?i...

                                                                    With California producing so many high quality goat cheeses these days, it's getting harder to find imports at retailers. I was looking for something from the Loire, but this was the only imported goat cheese at the local cheesemonger. I bought this round at the beginning of the month when ChOTM was announced. The best before date is November 8, 2013.

                                                                    Pulling it out last night, the ivory colored bloom was still very fresh looking and there was just a slight give to the paste. The center still has some chalky white and there's a teensy bit of ooze under the natural rind.

                                                                    We had this at dinner on Pain Bucheron from the new baker from Lyon. At this stage the flavor is mostly grassy, sweet notes and not so "goat-y". Notably salty but this is balanced by the sweet cream elements. My mother doesn't like goat cheese . . . I didn't tell her this was goat and she enjoyed it.

                                                                    I've not had Pico for some time, and this was milder than I recall. While I did enjoy it (particularly with the rustic bread), I might give it a couple weeks more age the next time for a little more ooze.

                                                                     
                                                                    1. Melanie Wong Sep 30, 2013 10:06 PM

                                                                      Sharing a salad idea from a lunch last week at La Balena in Carmel, CA . . . one of the seasonal salads, Insalata Caprino e Farro, featured what were called "pumpkin goat cheese truffles" on the menu description. Soft chevre was beaten with a small amount of fresh cream and rosemary, formed into small balls, then rolled in toasted/crushed pumpkin seeds. The farro salad was dressed with a chianti vinaigrette, combined with black slipskin grapes, shavings of sweet red onion and diced heirloom tomatoes, and served over leaves of red oak leaf lettuce. Delicious autumnal flavors.

                                                                      Here's what they look like,
                                                                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
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                                                                        EmBrooks Sep 30, 2013 11:12 PM

                                                                        Wow, this sounds fantastic. I'm going to have to try and recreate at home.

                                                                        1. re: EmBrooks
                                                                          Melanie Wong Oct 2, 2013 11:08 AM

                                                                          I loved the natural sweetness of the grapes against the gentle tartness and grassy flavors of the goat cheese. No one knew what kind of grapes there were, so slipskin is my own identifier. They're similar to Concord, but not concords.

                                                                          1. re: Melanie Wong
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                                                                            EmBrooks Oct 2, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                            I made this for lunch today - it was so good! I used plain old red grapes, but will try concords next time. Also just made a simple red wine vinaigrette. Next time I would make the dressing more acidic, but other than that this salad was delish! I am going to steal the goat cheese "truffle" idea for fall cheese plates. Thank you for posting this Melanie - I wish I could try the restaurant version!

                                                                            1. re: EmBrooks
                                                                              Melanie Wong Oct 2, 2013 01:02 PM

                                                                              Beautiful! You've done a marvelous rendition, wish I could taste yours.

                                                                              I'll mention that another place used to have chevre ball on its antipasto plate. They came in all different colors. Some rolled in green chopped parsley, others with smoked pimenton, or black ones coated with poppyseeds. It's a nice way to add some color (and flavor contrast) to a charcuterie plate.

                                                                            2. re: Melanie Wong
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                                                                              EmBrooks Oct 2, 2013 12:51 PM

                                                                              Forgot my picture. I'm sure the restaurant version was prettier!

                                                                               
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                                                                          teezeetoo Oct 3, 2013 07:11 AM

                                                                          I look forward to trying your recommendations and haven't encountered the above goats so I know I'm in for a fun expedition looking for them. For those who like their goat strong and with a touch of "blue" (and who don't flinch at the price because the darn stuff is expensive) I recommend Montenebro, a spanish goat that is textured, has a bit of penicillin blue, a deep mushroomy flavor and is great with Spanish reds like a fine tempranillo.

                                                                          1. h
                                                                            HillJ Oct 31, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                            Finally found a few other Cypress Grove chevre today. A cut of Midnight Moon and small round of Purple Haze and a mini of Humboldt Fog (which I've had before) for tonight's Halloween party.

                                                                            Like them all. Intense and creamy in their own way.

                                                                            Originally, the only one of the bunch I didn't care for from CG was the Truffle Tremor I bought from ShopRite. However, when the manager at the cheese market offered a fresh taste, it was a completely diff Truffle Tremor. Delicious.

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                                              Veggo Oct 31, 2013 01:13 PM

                                                                              I struggled through my Truffle Tremor, will start the Humboldt Fog tonight.

                                                                              1. re: Veggo
                                                                                h
                                                                                HillJ Oct 31, 2013 01:15 PM

                                                                                HFog is such a pleasure cheese. But, I wonder if your Truffle Tremor exp. resembles my own. The ShopRite piece and the Sickles Market piece were night & day...and the same price per lb.

                                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                                  Veggo Oct 31, 2013 01:20 PM

                                                                                  I paid $35/lb for the TT and was disappointed. Humboldt Fog is an old friend, I excavate the layers with a small knife and no crackers, just a glass of wine.

                                                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                                                    h
                                                                                    HillJ Oct 31, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                                                    Hmm, we weren't the only ones who were (TTremor) but my taste buds were turned later on.

                                                                                    HFog, you just know how to approach it!

                                                                              2. re: HillJ
                                                                                h
                                                                                HillJ Nov 1, 2013 06:23 AM

                                                                                Enjoying Midnight Moon this morning with these super thin pistachio and pumpkin seed crackers. MM is a drier, firmer cheese.
                                                                                http://www.cypressgrovechevre.com/our...

                                                                                I'm tasting the nutty, buttery notes but not the caramel finish as described in the link.

                                                                              3. h
                                                                                HillJ Nov 22, 2013 01:42 PM

                                                                                Highlighting this thread on CBS Sunday Morning's Food edition since the episode includes a section on goat cheese.
                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/924657

                                                                                Preview video here:
                                                                                http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/chef-li...

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