Gawking at Goat Cheese

The unusual rind on Capricious goat cheese.

Take a close look at this rind. Come on. Closer, closer.

How can you not gawk at a cheese with an exterior that’s almost burlap-like in color and texture?

Have you ever seen the likes of this before? I know I haven’t.

Capricious is the name of this wondrous goat cheese.

And I have cookbook authors Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein of the RealFoodHasCurves blog to thank for this discovery.

The duo were in San Francisco earlier this year, when they stumbled upon this glorious cheese sold at the Cowgirl Creamery shop in the Ferry Building that’s made by Achadinha Cheese Company of Petaluma.

The milk for the cheese comes from the Pacheco Family Goat Dairy that’s been around since 1953. Five years ago, owners Donna and Jim Pacheco, started making cheese, too, from the milk from their 1,400-goat herd. After Mark and Bruce raved about it to me, the Pachecos were kind enough to send me a small sample of the cheese to try.

A different kind of goat cheese -- dry, crumbly and aged.

The Capricious sells for $29.95 a pound. That may sound pricey, but not when you realize all the love and work that’s gone into it.

The cheese is completely handmade and hand-rolled. Each wheel is turned daily to endure even mold coverage, then washed and rubbed down with olive oil to protect the interior of the cheese as it ages anywhere from three to 10 months, depending upon the time of year and the amount of butter fat in the goats milk.

If all you’re used to fresh, soft, tangy goat cheese, this will be a revelation. Capricious is hard and crumbly, almost like a Parmigiano or Gruyere in texture. It has a pungent smell of grass and musk. The flavor is sharp and powerful, with salty, nutty and buttery qualities. It fills your mouth with a grand flourish and doesn’t bid adieu for a long, long time.

The cheese, which won “Best in Show” at the 2002 American Cheese Society event, would be splendid grated over hot pasta or sliced alongside fresh apples or pears.

However you serve it, don’t forget to show off that rind. It’s worth gawking at.

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Date: Monday, 30. November 2009 5:20
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Cheese, General, Great Finds

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19 comments

  1. 1

    Used to LOVE goat cheese – great flavor.

  2. 2

    The rind looks a little like roast turkey skin. Beautiful!

    And I can almost taste and smell that pungent cheese from the photos.

  3. 3

    ooh, looks lovely – did I not read about it this weekend on the chron? I agree with Susan that it has the look of a very nice stinky cheese.

  4. 4

    I’ve never had a goat cheese that was really hard before. Definitely will make it easier to slice. I don’t usually eat the rind though. How does it taste?

  5. 5

    That cheese looks lovely! Yummy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. 6

    How funny! Had not seen that yet, but yes, Foodhoe, it’s the same cheese mentioned in the Chron. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/27/FDDP1AIEKM.DTL&type=food

  7. 7

    Yum! I wonder if I can find something similar in France this month???

  8. 8

    Wow, that sounds like an incredible cheese. Gorgeous too.

  9. 9

    Thanks for the info and introduction to this cheese. Will definitely look out for it on my next visit to the US.

  10. 10

    OK, that’s it, times a wasting, I need to get myself to the Ferry Building and check it out. Two articles in one day on this incredible looking cheese has me practically swooning!

  11. 11

    Interesting rind…looks very tasty indeed :-)

  12. 12

    That goat cheese looks incredible, wish I could try it!

  13. 13

    We have a similar looking goat’s cheese called Holy Goat La Luna and it’s amazing!

  14. 14

    Where did they come up with the idea to make a hard goat’s cheese rubbed with olive oil?

  15. 15

    Sounds like an amazing cheese! I love cheese; this is going on my “must look for” list!

  16. 16

    That is one beautiful hunk of cheese. I’ve always loved cheese, but have a new appreciation for it after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. And cheese rolled in nuts? That is a slice of heaven.

  17. 17

    Just realized those aren’t nuts. Good thing I didn’t bite into it.

  18. 18

    [...] More Goaty Goodness: Capricious Goat Cheese [...]

  19. 19

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