Monday, January 7, 2008

Plain Chèvre

Chèvre is a wonderfully flexible cheese. More often than not, the chèvre rounds I am served have been coated with herbs. It can also be blended with peppercorns, fruit or even fennel pollen and lavender buds.

I recently tasted some plain chèvre at Randy Dipert's house for the first time in a long while. I had become so accustomed to eating chèvre-plus-other-stuff that I had almost forgotten what plain chèvre tastes like. The fresh, slightly tart yet distinctive flavor of the cheese didn't need any help from additional flavors. I ate most of the chèvre on Randy's cheese tray and promptly bought some more from my local grocer.

Although some people claim that chèvre is an acquired taste, it is a very novice-friendly cheese. There are some especially acidic chèvres out there that may be off-putting to some, but most will have a balanced amount of caproic, caprylic and capric acid. If you haven't tasted or served plain chèvre in a while, give it a try. Fresh chèvre also has the virtue of being less expensive but not less flavorful than other artisanal cheeses.

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