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Gourmet Food WorldGourmet BlogSpring and SummerSpring Chevre: A Goat Cheese Primer

Spring Chevre: A Goat Cheese Primer

by Gourmet Food World
Spring Chevre: A Goat Cheese Primer | Gourmet Food World

Once, during a trip to Paris in May, my mother and I decided to escape the city for a couple of days and drove out to the Loire Valley. There, without reservations, we meandered and wandered until we found a place to stay. Being last minute, and my mother having an obsession with a Chateaux & Relais guide from the 1970s, our lodgings were a sumptuous chateau nestled in a forest, complete with a star-awarded restaurant. That night, we ordered a fromage platter for an appetizer, which the impeccably dressed and - impossibly young - garcon served with a glass of Vouvray wine (his recommendation).

And there it was, my first introduction to true chevre: a snow-white, pillowy disc of goat cheese, wrinkled and chalky, smooth and velvety on the tongue and utterly decadent and delicious. Matched with the chilled white wine, it was a meal that was truly a transformative experience and which marked the beginnings of my life-long love affair with goat cheese.

Although once great goat cheese could only – arguably – be found in the farmers markets of France, today chevre making is an art that trespasses geographical boundaries. The Loire Valley is chevre country, THE region par excellence for the world’s best goat cheese, but because goats and know-how is all that is needed to make great chevre, today you can find great selections right here in the US as well.

Spring is a great time for goat cheese, and you’ll see chevres – the French word for goat cheese - pop up in every market. That’s because during the spring months the weather allows for the goats to graze outside in young fields filled with fresh, sweet green grasses, lush with flowers, herbs and pollen, which gives the milk a luscious, bright flavor – which then translates into a more luscious, bright goat cheese.

Types of Goat Cheese

Above: Types of goat cheese. From left: ripened, bloomy rind; ripened, ashed; fresh, mixed with herbs.


Chevres fall into two main categories – fresh and aged or ripened. Goat cheeses are eaten young – even the ripened goat cheeses are not aged for longer than 6 weeks. A fresh goat cheese is eaten pretty much right after it’s made. It’s the ripened category that’s the most interesting and diverse, since aged chevres develop more complex, distinct flavors, a dense texture and lovely aromas. You’ll usually find the outside has a moldy or bloomy rind that’s wrinkled or fuzzy, but the inside is smooth and thick.

Types of Goat Cheese Shapes

Above: Types of goat cheese shapes. From left: log; crottin (disc); pyramid.


Another reason to love goat cheese in the spring? They go perfectly with chilled white wines like Vouvray and Sancerre, and a sweet rose, a favorite of ours to sip once the weather turns warm.

Whichever you choose, spring is the time to give goat cheeses a whirl, whether served as part of a cheese platter, with a fresh salad or a delicious recipe like risotto.


OUR FAVORITE GOAT CHEESES FOR SPRING


VALENCAY BY JACQUIN, FRANCE.

Valencay Goat Cheese



CROTTIN D'ANTAN BY CHANTAL PLASSE- FRANCE

Crottin French Goat Cheese



CHABICHOU DU POITOU BY CHANTAL PLASSE, FRANCE

Chabichou Goat Cheese



CAPRIEFEUILLE - BUCHE DE CHEVRE, BY CHANTAL PLASSE, FRANCE.

Caprifeuille French Chevre



COUPOLE BY VERMONT BUTTER AND CHEESE, USA.

Coupole Vermont Goat Cheese



PURPLE HAZE BY CYPRESS GROVE CREAMERY, USA.

Purple Haze Cypress Grove Chevre



TRUFFLE TREMOR BY CYPRESS GROVE CREAMERY, USA

Truffle Tremor Cypress Grove Goat Cheese



CANNONBALL ASHED GOAT CHEESE BY CAPRIOLE, USA.

Cannonball Goat Cheese



BIJOU BY VERMONT CREAMERY, USA.

Bijou Goat Cheese



BONNE BOUCHE BY VERMONT BUTTER & CHEESE, USA.

Bonne Bouche goat cheese



Buy Goat Cheese




This entry was posted in Gourmet Blog, Spring and Summer and View All Posts on February 26, 2016 by Gourmet Food World

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