Adventures in Goat Cheese, at $54 dollars a pound

My local cheese man Laurent Bonjour turned me on to a rare goat cheese from the french alps called Persille des Aravis. It’s 54 bucks a pound, meaning the little half wheel I bought ran 16 bucks, and took about as many minutes for me and my familly to eat it, with the handbrake on and me rationing slices of the stuff. It’s raw goat’s milk, the rind looks as if it’s made of dirt, and is one of the simultaneously subtlest and most intense goat cheeses I’ve ever had, if that’s possible. It’s nutty, appley, tangy, sharp, pungent, earthy, mushroomy, sweet, and (and here’s where it’s subtle) only the slightest bit goaty. My 3 year old boy loved it, “without the grind” he said, meaning “rind” of course. The rind didn’t slow down 6 year old Vi, who, after a few bites of the good stuff, went to the refrigerator and pulled out a 2 dollar cryovacked mini log of trader joe’s goat cheese and said “I like the creamy goat cheese, too.” What I like about persille apart from its flavor is the story Laurent told me: “this cheese is made by people who usually makes cow’s milk cheese, but their cows can’t graze along the steep and rocky slopes of the mountains, but the goats can. It’s a tiny area and only four families make it.” My kids like the story too.
—Hugh

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