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Behind the Rind Starring Humboldt Fog

By Allison Burch, April 28, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Allison Burch

Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese is world renowned for its creamy, mild taste.  Its smoothness comes from the quality of the goat’s milk sourced from small pasture-based family farms.  And its name comes from the location of the creamery—the rolling hills of foggy Humboldt County in northern California, where the redwoods meet the Pacific. Because Humboldt Fog is encased in an edible mold rind, its taste and appearance change while aging. 

Between the cheese and the rind, a creamy layer grows as enzymes in the mold digest the milk proteins in the cheese.  The more the cheese ages, the larger the layer.  The process is technically called proteolysis, but we just call it delicious.  As it ages, the appearance of the cheese changes from firm and moist with a very white rind, to a more crumbly texture with a marbled rind.  At the same time, the flavor goes from a clean, citrus finish to one with earthier notes. 

Check out these photos of the cheesemaking process at Cypress Grove:

The soft, creamy, and slightly tangy taste of Humboldt Fog gives it terrific versatility.  And it’s visually beautiful as well.  The layer of vegetable ash along the center and under the edible mold rind gives the cheese a wedding cake appearance—perfect for dressing up a cheese plate.  Or, toss it into hot pasta to add depth for an elevated mac and cheese.  You can even serve it as an elegant dessert with pears and honey.  And don’t forget the beer—try pairing with a wheat beer or India Pale Ale (IPA).  Here are some recipes that feature Humboldt Fog in a variety of ways:

Go Behind the Rind for serving tips, photos and more about this delectable cheese, and follow our Global Cheese Buyer, Cathy Strange on Twitter @WFMCheese. From cheese to entrée, we find Humboldt Fog beautifully versatile.  How do you enjoy goat cheese?

Category: Cheese




SusieBeeOnMaui (Eat Little, Eat Big) says ...
There is nothing with goat cheese that I don't like! I always include it on a cheese platter. A couple of favorite uses are sprinkled on top of tarts: http://eatlittleeatbig.blogspot.com/2011/01/recipe-for-leek-and-bacon-tart.html and stirred in to roasted butternut squash: http://eatlittleeatbig.blogspot.com/2010/12/recipe-for-roasted-butternut-squash.html
04/28/2011 2:05:03 PM CDT
Jon jerman says ...
Humboldt fog is my favorite cheese at the Fairmont hotel on Nob Hill!
05/04/2011 3:56:15 PM CDT
Jo Ann Rossi says ...
This is my all time favorite "go to" goat cheese. Its dressy enough for company or a party, and down-home enough for saltines! True Love! Xo
05/04/2011 4:07:39 PM CDT
Teresa Sendra-Anagnost says ...
Thank you for the reminder. I loved that cheese when I tried it but did not know the rind was edible. Please inform us about other cheeses.
05/04/2011 7:44:38 PM CDT
Tamiika Kuti says ...
I've never tried goat cheese,this has made me change my mind! I'm going to get a sample today.
05/14/2011 11:57:34 AM CDT
winnie says ...
i just had some of this for lunch on ciabatta and holy cow (goat?), it's delicious!
05/19/2011 1:32:14 PM CDT
Jana says ...
Straight up plain! I love Humboldt Fog more than any other cheese on earth. I can eat it with and on anything. I mainly eat only goat cheese and I prefer Cypress Grove to any other brand. It is hard to find where I live (Sonora, Calif) so I covet it a lot. I also love the Purple Haze and Herbs de Humboldt but my favorite of all is HF!! Long live Cypress Grove Cheeses!!! YUM YUM YUMMMMMMMMM
08/04/2011 12:18:52 AM CDT
H. Jack Hansen says ...
Where's a store near Elburn IL (60119) that carries your products
09/20/2012 2:42:33 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@H. JACK - It looks like you can buy their products off their website at http://www.cypressgrovechevre.com/store.html. Good luck!
09/21/2012 10:53:06 AM CDT
Tom says ...
This is possibly one of the best cheeses I've ever had the opportunity to purchase. Some say there are no good cheeses available in America, that's hogwash! This ranks up there with a good Roquefort in my opinion (it may even be better). The center is mild and sweet, almost slightly "fruity," while the rind and its under-layer has that wonderful ammonia kick that I prize most in a good cheese for consumption by itself. It's almost two cheeses in one! It isn't cheap, but it's definitely worth it.
02/23/2013 9:14:27 PM CST
Dawn Desch says ...
I am from Humboldt County, Eureka to be specific. I love Humboldt Fog. I can't get it where I live now, but if I could I would be putting it in everything I cook. I even have a cupcake recipe that calls for it.
04/14/2013 11:07:28 PM CDT
Joanne Lynch says ...
I have never tasted anything like the Humboldt Fog. It has a special place in my heart and I serve it as fast as I buy it, and can't seem to get enough of the myriad of cheeses you have in your store. I wish I could keep it around long enough to let it age and increase the layer between the cheese and the rind. I am ordering more today, again.
09/09/2013 8:16:44 PM CDT
Marie-christine Royere says ...
After spending too much money on French goat cheeses that were so old they were not edible, I tried Humbolt Fog and fell in love with it. Until the. last time I bought some, it was dry and too old. What a shame! Is there a date by which your stores can't sell this cheese anymore? I have to travel 2 hours + to get to one of your stores. It was very disapointing.
07/05/2014 5:06:53 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARIE - The cheeses sold in our stores should have either a sell-by date or expiration date. We definitely want to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase. Definitely let the store know where you purchased the cheese and they'll be happy to make things right for you.
07/07/2014 2:00:47 PM CDT
Jacqueline Dauw says ...
I was told today at the cheese counter at Whole Foods that the two layers in the Humboldt Fog were different because one was the morning milking and one was the evening milking. Is this true? The layers each have a unique taste.
01/31/2015 9:44:22 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JACQUELINE - It does appear on their website that their goats are milked twice daily. I would suggest following up with them directly at http://www.cypressgrovechevre.com/grovers/contact-us.html for more info!
02/03/2015 12:11:56 PM CST
Konnya says ...
Sometimes this cheese is delicious sometimes not so much for my palette. Thanks for explaining why.
04/25/2015 7:05:07 PM CDT