That Spring Goat Cheese Plate
After countless months of freezing cold and gray skies, spring is alive and well here in New York City. To celebrate, we made a bright and vibrant spring cheese plate featuring fresh goat cheese.
The Season of Goat Cheese
Just like fruits and veggies, cheeses have "seasons" as well. Cows can be milked 300 days a year, but goats are on a stricter breeding system linked to the specific time of the year. That time is Spring! As the goats have access to fresh flowers and grasses, their milk will result in dynamic and flavorful cheeses. Between the fresh milk and nature in bloom, these cheeses will be creamy with grassy hints of lemon and pepper.
That Cheese Plate
We didn't go too fancy with this one - a friend of mine came over and we shopped at the local grocery store. I was happy to find Vermont Creamery - some of the best goat cheese out there. We picked up a creamy log of fresh chèvre rolled in herb de Provence. The flavors were earthy and herbal with a tangy kick.
We also tried out Montchevre's Cabrie - a mold ripened goat milk brie. The flavor was creamy like a brie with a mild goat tang. I paired it with fig jam and had to stop myself from eating the whole wheel.
GOAT CHEESE GALORE
If you find yourself near Whole Foods or a cheese shop, I'd recommend the following goat cheeses:
Sofia by Capriole: This cheese is SO GOOD. I haven't been able to find this at Whole Foods, but many cheese shops carry it. As Capriole Farms says, "Sofia is sweet and dense and represents everything you’ve ever wanted from a ripened goat cheese. The result of our love affair with Loire Valley cheeses, she has a light, delicate paté which becomes denser and creamier for 5-7 weeks from production."
Bonne Bouche by Vermont Creamery: To be honest, everything from Vermont Creamery is amazing. However Bonne Bouche just gets me with its gooey inside and ash ripened rind. "Made with fresh pasteurized goats’ milk from family farms, the curd is carefully hand ladled, lightly sprinkled with ash, and aged just long enough to develop a rind. As a young cheese, the rind has a pleasant yeast flavor and creamy interior becoming softer and more piquant as it ages."
Humboldt Fog by Cypress Grove: I see this cheese everywhere I go and probably use it on 80% of my cheese plates. It's a popular ash-ripened goat cheese that you can find in the cheese section of Whole Foods and usually other large supermarkets. Even friends of mine who claim to "not like goat cheese" devour this. "Each handcrafted wheel features a distinctive ribbon of edible vegetable ash. You'll enjoy buttermilk and fresh cream, complemented with floral notes, herbaceous overtones, and a clean citrus finish."
Midnight Moon by Cypress Grove: This is a hard goat cheese, aged up to six months. Exclusively produced in Holland for Cypress Grove, Midnight Moon has a nutty and brown buttery taste with a caramel finish. Protein crystals form to lend a slight crunch to the cheese as well. It's one of my all time favorites.
Make It Yourself!
Here's what you'll need to make That Spring Goat Cheese Plate
- 1 Log of Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese with Herbs
- 1 Wheel of Montchevre Cabrie
- Fig Jam
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Aida Eats Crackers
- Aida Eats Spiced Pecans
- Mixed Nuts
- Pink Carnations
Check out our video for assembly tips!