Happy new year, cheese lovers! Hope you all had a lovely, cheese-centric holiday. While I spent Christmas driving down I-5 with my parents and eating frozen yogurt for lunch (good times), I was rewarded later that week with a trip to the Cowgirl Creamery shop in the San Francisco Ferry Building. There’s nothing like some cheesy souvenirs to keep that vacation feeling going, especially when you’ve left behind the 60-degree weather of northern California for the subzero temps we’re “enjoying” in Minnesota now.
Visiting the Cowgirl shop on a Saturday is practically a contact sport – there was barely any room to maneuver around the other shoppers. But because Cowgirl has switched to a mostly cut-and-wrap operation (discussed during an ACS panel this summer), I was able to scoop up a couple of cheeses without waiting for an hour or making any enemies friends in line. So when I saw a Redwood Hill Farm crottin sitting quietly and patiently to be picked, I didn’t hesitate to bring it home.
Terra is the same cheese as Redwood Hill Farm’s traditional crottin (goat cheese disc) but in a larger size (5 oz.), and who can argue that bigger isn’t better when it comes to cheese? Especially when it’s made from organic goat’s milk by another female cheese pioneer, Jennifer Lynn Bice. Terra has a wrinkly rind from the geotrichum candidum culture used in the cheesemaking process, giving it a similar appearance and depth of flavor of some of favorite Vermont wrinklies.
At first bite, you get the typical mild, pasty flavors of an aged chevre, but whereas other goat cheeses may be light and lemony on the tongue, Terra comes across as earthier and funkier. Keep in mind that it’s not a stinker by any means, but it has a heft that other goat cheeses often lack that’s perfect for cooler (or downright freezing) months. Pair with a glass of bubbly or a crisp white wine and a salad with winter citrus fruits, and pretend that spring is just around the corner.