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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Behind the Rind Starring Humboldt Fog

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?