NAME: Humboldt Fog
PRODUCER: Cypress Grove Chevre
MILK: Pasteurized Goat's Milk
Let me start by saying that Humboldt Fog is not my favorite cheese. My tastes change with the weather so ‘favorite’ depends on the day. In spring I want grilled asparagus and high acid goat cheese.
Autumn finds me craving butternut squash soup with the nutty flavors of an aged cow’s milk alpine shaved on top, floating as a garnish. Since I’ve tasted Humboldt Fog some five plus years ago, I regard it as one would a first love. Working as a professional cook, I am always trying to pair ingredients that bring out the best in each other.
Humboldt Fog with its soft, satiny rind of surface ripened white mold, the two graceful layers of goat cheese and line of vegetable ash running through the center gave me that first encounter. When my Chef first cut into the hand-crafted wheel, looking at it, I thought it was cake. Tasting it astounded me.
The subtle citrus twinge of goat’s milk paired so well with everything, I could not believe its adaptability. Porcini Mushrooms brought out the earthiness. Honey brought out its sweetness. Pears and apples its acidity. All pairings were perfectly balanced and wonderful in revelation.
Humboldt Fog is celebrating its 20th year; 20 years since the fog in Humboldt County California passed over the hills of the Cypress Grove Creamery and inspired this multiple award winner. I can think of no better way to acknowledge it than to pair it with a crisp white wine or wheat beer and lean back in a chair wrapped in nostalgia for a first love.
Geordan Stenson cooks at Trattoria Number 10 in Chicago and is a cheese enthusiast/wholesale cheese monger at Pastoral. He also graduated from Kendall College
with a degree in culinary arts.