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Not only is it delicious, there are several health benefits to eating goat cheese. First of all, it has very little lactose, making it ideal for those who cannot tolerate cow’s milk. Second, it is rich with vitamins and potassium. And, third, it has smaller fat globules resulting in a lower fat content than cow’s milk. PLUS, great goat’s milk makes great goat cheese. If you think of goat cheese as the tasteless, ubiquitous circle often found on salads, you’ve got a whole new world to explore this weekend!
Chevre is French for goat and goat cheese is known for its earthy, tangy, tart flavor. The three goat cheeses we’re sampling this week are known for the quality of goat’s milk used to create them.

Somport Chèvre Fermier

Somport Chevre Tastings Gourmet Market
Somport Chèvre Fermier is a Tomme cheese made from the milk of goats that graze on steep slopes in the Béarn and Basque mountains. Somport gets its name from the mountain pass, now a tunnel, that connects France with Spain. Because the area is rough and the nature fairly untouched, the animals feed on unusual herbs, which one can taste in the cheese.

Pressed and uncooked, this farmhouse cheese is produced by only 4 dairies and is aged in Beillevaire’s cave. It looks a bit like the sheep cheese Ossau Iraty. You’ll love its sweet mellow taste.

Origin: France (Aquitaine department of the Pyrénées Atlantique)
Producer: Beillevaire (pronounce that BAY-vaire)
Raw goat
Rennet type: Animal
Rind: Washed
3-6 months
Look: Orangey beige crust, white paste, many irregular holes
Feel: Semi-hard, crumbly but creamy
Smell: Delicate mushroom aromas
Taste: Mildly tangy with a spicy, herbaceous undertone
Pairs well with: Cherry jam, honey
Tastes good with: Chablis, Sancerre, or a light red such as Beaujolais


Bucherondi Tastings Gourmet MarketA classic and pretty goat cheese from the Loire valley, Bûcherondin 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 by itself. Try our Bûcheron Crostini with Clove-glazed Tangerines and Rosemary Pecan Breadcrumbs. (Bûcherondin is similar to Bûcheron and you can use it in its place. The main difference is that Bûcherondin is a larger cheese and some cheese critics think it tastes better.) You can use it on spinach salads, sandwiches, crostini, melt it, or just serve by itself.

For a quick no-recipe recipe, slice it into ½-inch medallions and put it in a 350-degree oven for 6-8 minutes. Take them out when they start to bubble and brown. Drizzle them 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: Animal
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
Subtle, milky
Earthy, tangy, perfect combo of crumbly and creamy
Pairs well with: Grapes, crackers, Marcona almonds, large green olives, crusty bread. It looks spectacular on a cheeseboard.
Tastes good with: Loire valley wines such as Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir; wheat beers

Verde Capra

Capra Verde Tastings Gourmet MarketA relative newcomer on the scene, this goat’s milk blue cheese comes from the same region and producer as Taleggio. It is similar to Gorgonzola Dulce in moisture, which imparts a deliciously creamy center. Blue cheeses made from goat’s milk are relatively rare, in part because it is difficult to make a good blue from goat’s milk as the curds tend to be more fragile. Come enjoy this rare and wonderful blue!

Origin: Italy
Producer: Ambrogio of Ca De Ambros
Milk: Pasteurized goat
Rennet type: Animal
Rind: Rindless
Age: 90 days
Look: Smooth yellow paste with blue marbling
Feel: Fudgy, creamy center
Taste: Mildly salty, super creamy, slightly sweet
Pairs well with: Pears, salami, steak. Add to pasta.
Tastes good with: Syrah or other full-bodied reds; sweet and liqueur wines, sparkling wines on the sweeter side

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