Monday, 7 March 2011

Fresh Goats' Cheese - le chèvre frais

Very different from its refined cousins, fresh cheese represents 12% of goat cheese production in France. It's used more often as a cooking ingredient rather than offered on the cheese platter, and is at its best in the springtime, when the goats come back into full milk production ready for their growing kids.

It should be a smooth pure white paste and maintain its shape after being tipped out of its mould. It does not have a skin or crust, but it has been more or less drained of whey and salted.

The fresh goats' cheese from our laitière comes in a log shape,
but in other places you see it as a disk.
You see it for sale most often just plain, but sometimes it is dusted with ash, flavoured with herbs or wrapped in a leaf. You can serve it in thick soft slices, or spread it on bread. It will keep for some days in the fridge. Take it out at the last minute, just before using or serving.

Easy to digest, fresh goats' cheese has a higher water content and a lower fat content than more mature goats' cheese. Its mild taste goes well with herbs, spices, honey and fruit. It is delicious spread on a slice of good fresh bread. Mix it with chopped chives and eat it with a boiled egg or pop it under the grill to melt a bit. Serve with steamed fish or a bowl of pasta. Try it with chutney.

Susan

3 comments:

  1. Goat cheese is always delicious (to me)!

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  2. The Touraine has such a choice of delicious goats' cheese. We sometimes have fresh goats cheese with radish and use it as a dip.

    Every year we take pupils on a week long visit to Northern France. One of the highlights is a trip to a goat farm, with a cheese making demonstration. Superb!

    Most of the pupils need to be persuaded to taste it, but a few 'wolf it down'.

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  3. ! agree with Gaynor... it makes a great dip! Yes, chop a few chives or three-cornered leek [which seems to be very common round here] into it... Chuck in some pepper, stir it around and dip the crudites!
    It is also very good as the base cheese for baked cheescakes!!

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