Often called by its French name, Chèvre, meaning goat, this cheese type comes in many different flavours and textures - from crumbly to creamy, young to mature, mild to tangy. A versatile cheese, it can be white, coated with ash or herbs, or wrapped in grape leaves. Its distinctive character comes from capric acid (after the Latin word capra, meaning ”goat”) - a flavourful fatty acid that promotes the development of good intestinal bacteria in humans and is sold as a health food product. Thanks to its relatively low lactose content, cheeses from both goats and sheep are excellent choices for people with lactose intolerance.
Flavours are tart, with a soft, almost spreadable texture. Unapologetic, goats’ cheese is intense in its youth, providing earthy and tangy nuances that sharply sweep the palate. Letting it linger means allowing the flavours to settle and clean up, providing plenty of opportunity for other pairings to stand out. As it ages, the body grows firm without hardening. The consistency instead becomes crumbly, while flavours turn creamy with hints of hazelnut and dried herbs gradually signalling their presence. Low in fat, it clocks in as a lighter alternative to most heavier cheeses. Its unmistakeable bitterness enlivens surrounding flavours, while also offering a rich savour.
Fresh goats’ cheese never develops a rind, whereas aged variants boast a plethora of different coatings. Harder variants usually display natural or waxed rinds, while those ripened with white mould are coated in a fluffy jacket, much like a Camembert or Brie.
As with cheese made using milk from cows or sheep, goats’ cheese is favoured for its great versatility. Its seemingly endless range of flavours lets it develop intricate profiles and a wide spectrum of different types of cheese.
Rather than being a specific cheese, Chèvre is more a term for traditional French goats’ cheese. There is a great variety in types, including different ages, moulds and rinds. Fresh variants are pronounced and vibrant, often enjoyed within a few days of production.
White mould goats’ cheeses (i.e. Goat Brie or Castello White with Goat’s Milk), provide a new take on already established classics. The tang of the goats’ milk softens in its maturation, instead delighting in subtle hints of rural mushroom and rich cream.
Evoking fresh blue mould and hints of earthy mushrooms, blue mould cheese made using goats’ milk features a clean and sharp aroma. Like overgrown forage, the blue veins cover their ivory-coloured centre, extending piquancy throughout. The texture is smooth and creamy, creating a distinct sensation.
Pair with honey, sliced pear and walnuts