Pata Cabra is a washed rind cheese, meaning that its rind has been rinsed and scrubbed with brine several times during the aging process. In addition to keeping unwanted bacteria from growing on the outside of the cheese, this process also gives the cheese a mildly pungent flavor. It is rich and creamy and has a slightly sticky texture. This cheese would pair well with crusty breads, nuts and tapenades.
There are over 60 cheeses that are unique to Spain, but few of them are known to the tasting public. I highly recommend trying this little-known gem from Spain. I bought mine at Premier Gourmet.
NPR contributor Betsy Block offers the following Honey and Cheese Recipe as an alternative way to enjoy Pata Cabra. She says it is "absurdly easy" but "unbelievably delicious."
4 slices of good bread (baguette, sourdough, something hearty and crusty)Directions:
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 pound Pata Cabra cheese (or another mild Spanish goat or sheep's milk cheese, e.g., Navat)
Brush the bread with olive oil, then toast or grill it. Cover with a slice of cheese and drizzle with honey. Makes 4 servings.