Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

INFO: Goat Cheese 101

Most goat cheese comes from France, and is called chevre, which means, appropriately enough, "goat." Now that goat cheese has gained popularity, though, you can find American-made artisan goat cheeses in the market as well as a few imports from other European countries.

I like to buy Laura Chenel cheese. Not only can I purchase it in a small serving, so I can use it all right away, but Laura Chenel is the person who brought goat cheese to America. She went to France to learn how to make it, and then brought it back and gave it to Alice Waters who introduced it at Chez Panisse.

Goat cheese is distinctive because of its flavor, which is tangier than cow's milk cheese due to different fatty acids present in the milk and different types of feed; because of the creamy texture; and because it is a "non-melting cheese," meaning it will hold its shape when heated, rather than melting all over the place.

Milk production for goats is seasonal, lasting from spring through fall. The cheeses are not aged more than a few months, and freezing damages quality, so goat cheese is really a summer food. New techniques are being developed, but you will still get the freshest, best goat cheese in the warm months.

Goat cheeses come in all varieties--not just the little sausage you see at the store. They also come in soft ripened, firm ripened, firm unripened, and hard.

Store goat cheese wrapped loosely in wax paper and bring to room temperature before serving. It's very easy to make something delicious with goat cheese ... just bake it on to some bread, or throw it on a cheese pizza, or crumble it in a salad.

Here's a simple recipe for all you cheese-lovers that looks most impressive if you pull it off, from Thomas Keller, of French Laundry and Per Se: Parmigiano Reggiano Crisps with Laura Chenel Goat Cheese Mousse.

Info in this post came from:

U.C. Davis Dairy Research and Info Center
The Worldwide Gourmet


goat cheese is pretty much my favorite.

Actaually. cheese in general is pretty much my favorite. Love cheese. mmmmmmmmm.

said by Jeremy at 3:47 PM Delete

For a minute I was like, "Who's Jeremy?" I am still used to anony-you.

I think mozzarella is my favorite cheese, very closely followed by goat cheese.

Cheese in general is just ... the best. I love whoever figured it out.

Sadly, my goat cheese recipe didn't turned out as I had hoped. Everything was good except the goat cheese part! Story to be posted later.

said by KT at 3:51 PM Delete

Are you talking about the herbed spread recipe? I thought that turned out very tasty...

I'm hungry now.

said by Anyanka at 4:15 PM Delete

No, I think that DID turn out well ... I made this salad last night with a goat cheese dressing and the dressing was not that good. :(

It had walnut oil in it and I think maybe my walnut oil was on the way out. Also, it was lacking something flavor-wise. I think it needed more herbage or citrus or something.

But I had a really good wine with it!

said by KT at 4:35 PM Delete

That's another good thing about goat cheese. It goes really well with wine.

Speaking of which, we are

[ the middle of writing this you e-mailed you couldn't come to Olé again. So never mind. Dumb conservativeships.]

said by Anyanka at 4:50 PM Delete

LAME conservatorships. Cutting into my cocktail hour! How dare they!?

said by KT at 5:01 PM Delete

sorry to arrive so late on this one, but goat cheese is my very fave too! i love how we all have terrific taste -- in food and friends.

this blog makes me hungry.

said by Milla at 4:16 PM Delete

Good, then it's having the desired effect. :)

My blog wants to make you hungry. Too bad it can't feed you as well.

said by KT at 4:23 PM Delete

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