There are few things we at LEAF love more than cheese, and the French so we teamed up with The Goat Cheeses of France to show you exactly how you can pair 5 delicious goat cheeses, resulting in a decadent, French-party approved hors d’oeuvre.
The beautiful thing about this cheese selection is that we’re staying within one milk type (goat) and one country (France). There is such a wide range of flavors and textures within these realms, it’s interesting to see what pairs best with each. We’re emphasizing on playing up similarity or contrast, bringing out new elements of each cheese.
1. Valençay – Here, we’re playing with similarity. This goat cheese is earthy and minerally in flavor with a hazelnut finish. We are playing up the earthiness with a root vegetable, while introducing acid by using pickled beets to help lighten the richness of the cheese. Paired with: Rick’s Picks Phat Beets.
2. Florette – This is actually a brie made with goat’s milk, it’s soft and buttery with slight notes of almond. We’re playing with a textural element here, so it’s paired with Raincoat Oat Cranberry Crisps for a good crunch.
3. Chèvre Bleu (such as Bleu du Bocage) – This is a goat’s milk bleu cheese that’s very delicate, less ‘intense’ than most bleu cheeses. It’s sweet and acidic with notes of roasted nuts, so we’re playing up the sweet and salty element by pairing with Caramelized Walnuts. (You basically just keep eating, it’s addicting!)
4. Tomme de Chèvre Bethmale – This is an aged goat cheese from the South of France with a firm texture and developed nutty flavors, with even slight notes of mushroom. The cheese has a rich, peanut-like quality, so we got creative and paired it with Madagascar Dark Chocolate. It’s like a slightly savory s’more! Perfect for dessert.
5. Chabichou du Poitou – This is from the region Poitou, it has a grainy texture and a flavor profile of yeast, nuts and sweetness. Again, we’re playing up the sweet and salty element by pairing it with honey, but specifically lavender honey, for a floral and musky aroma. Paired with: Mitica Wild Lavender Honey.
What’s your favorite cheese pairing?