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A classic and pretty goat cheese from the Loire valley, Bûcheron is like two cheeses in one. Is it cake or is it cheese? Enjoy the gooey cream line between the rind and the rest of the cheese, and then go for the center, which is cakelike in texture and lemony in taste. The bloomy rind comes from a harmless mold sprayed on the cheese when young, which helps ripen it. The bacteria breaks down the fat and gives the cheese a beautiful creamy texture. As it ages, the flavor intensifies and the cream line becomes more oozy.

Bûcheron is a crowd-pleaser of a cheese and quite versatile. You can use it on spinach salads, sandwiches, crostini, melt it, or just serve it by itself.

For a quick no-recipe recipe, slice the cheese into ½-inch medallions and pop them in a 350-degree oven for 6-8 minutes. Take them out when they start to bubble and brown. Drizzle with honey and add a sprinkle of lemon thyme and chopped dried cranberries.

Origin: France (Poitou region)
Producer: Sevre et Belle
Milk: Pasteurized goat
Rennet type: Traditional
Rind: Bloomy
Age: 1-2 months
Look: A thick log, sliced to order. The rind is white and wrinkled, and the interior paste is molten creamy and white.
Feel: Soft with a substantial crust
Smell: Subtle, milky
Taste: Earthy, tangy, perfect combo of crumbly and creamy
Tastes good with: Grapes, crackers, Marcona almonds, large green olives, crusty bread. It looks spectacular on a cheeseboard.
Drink with: Loire valley wines such as Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir; wheat beers

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