Goat Cheese: From Trendy to Tried-and-True
The American goat cheese craze began in 1980 when Laura Chenel, a Sonoma cheesemaker, took some of her fresh, sweet, French-style cheeses to Chez Panisse, one of the birthplaces of the California cuisine phenomenon. California cuisine and American goat cheeses have both been going strong ever since, as a multitude of restaurants, cookbooks and even goats can attest.
The cheeses driving this trend are mild and fresh, and only aged for a week or two before going to market. These chevres account for an estimated 85 percent of American goat cheese sales.
Fresh goat cheese should have a clean, acidic taste. The cheese comes in a variety of shapes and sizes; the log shape or buche is most common. Another well-known shape is the button; buttons can be found plain, dusted with herbs, covered in cracked pepper, or aged and marinated in olive oils. Ripened goat cheeses are also gaining a following. These cheeses are aged for about four weeks. The time allows for a skin to develop on the cheese and eliminates some of the moisture from the cheese. The result is a chalky texture and a more concentrated flavor.
American goat cheesemakers continue to hone their craft, as they expand their offerings and secure a place in American kitchens for their products.
To sample some of the finest goat cheeses for your next charcuterie platter, shop goat cheeses at Pierre Cheese Market today!