Cheese of The Week is a weekly feature on The Daily Meal, drawing on the expertise of internationally renowned cheese expert and consultant Raymond Hook. What follows is based on an interview with Hook.
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Le Chevrot is called "the Rolls Royce of goat cheeses" in its native France, and one taste will show you why. It’s creamy, minerally, earthy, has a hint of toasted grain, sweet and tangy, and is one of the finest examples of goat cheese on the market today.
It’s produced by a 100-year-old co-op in France’s Charentes-Poitou area, under the official name of Sèvre & Belle Le Chevrot. The dairy farms that belong to the co-op produce the milk, and the cheese is hand-ladled into molds. Over the next three weeks its edible rind takes on a wrinkled appearance, and after it ships it can be eaten at any point between three and seven weeks. The cheese directly beneath the rind becomes creamier as it ages, but the center maintains the dense, clay-like texture that goat cheese is known for. When it’s fresh it has a predominantly sweet and tangy flavor and goes best with white wine, and when it’s older it’s more grain-forward and works better with a red like gamay.
"Le Chevrot is in almost every cheese shop, but people overlook it," Hook told us. "I have to go back every year to remind myself how good it is." Even though it’s not incredibly popular, Hook believes that it should be. "It’s perfect for entertaining," he continued. "It’s the right size, the texture is great, it’s got a great flavor, and it’s perfect for a couple people to have to nosh on."
Hook recommends pairing the cheese with a rosé: "It’s a match made in heaven," he said. "The mineral quality in the rose brings out the minerality of the goat cheese, and it’s great this time of year." Slice off a wedge, eat it on crusty French bread with a slice of pear, wash it down with some rosé, and you’ll instantly be in a summery state of mind.