Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Goat Gouda

Goat Gouda, always one of our more popular cheeses, seems to be a gamechanger for those who have been put off by stronger, funkier goat cheeses in the past.  By contrast it is mild, a little sweet and a little salty, with just enough tanginess to make it interesting.  It also has that medium hard/medium soft Gouda texture with some moisture so as to be sliceable without crumbling.  It is also meltable so an alternative grilled cheese sandwich could be in the offing here too.  Aroma-wise, this cheese screams sour cream by the way.

The particular Goat Gouda we have been selling here has been the Van Dijk (Dyke) Chevre Blanc which originates courtesy of Anna Van Dyjk's herd of five hundred goats just outside of Eindhoven in the southern end of the Netherlands.  There the goasts feed daily on natural grass and wild herbs.  "Chevre", the French word for goat, is also a synonym for soft goat cheese so it's name here is a little misleading.  Also misleading is the fact that the city of Gouda is in western Netherlands but the name, Gouda, has been left legally unprotected and is appropriated freely throughout the country and worldwide.

Goat Gouda actually has a very brief history.  Apocryphal rumors of mild Dutch goat cheese have circulated from tourists for decades and Europeans have enjoyed the cheeses for about the same length of time but Goat Gouda for export has only been around this decade.  Our health consciousness may be one reason for the cheese's popularity.  Goat cheeses are easier to digest than cow's milk cheeses so the lactose-intolerant may be okay with them.  Goat cheese is also lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories and higher in calcium.

Wine affinity for Goat Gouda is scattered amongst food and wine writers.  Because the cheese is simple, lacking length and complexity, I like it with light dry white wine.  Others would add it to the standard rich red wine group.  Beer would be a natural friend also.

This Friday from 5 to 7pm, Tommy "Slick" Basham joins us here to present Italian and California wines for our edification.  Tommy is out on work release so lets all show up and support his rehabilitation.  Any fighting or other disruptions that might bring the police will be dealt with immediately and permanently (if you know what I mean) so lets all behave. 

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