This is a story about the Original Chèvre. And it is about variety. There are over 3,000 goat cheese producers and about 60 dairy companies in France. France is the #1 producer of pure goat cheeses (i.e. made of goat’s milk only) in the world, and produced about 120,000 tons (265 million pounds) in 2016.
Fourteen goat cheeses (out of 45 cheeses total in France) have been given the PDO (Product Designation of Origin) label, ensuring that the chèvre has been made in a strictly designated geographical area, using only local milk and traditional production techniques.
So many varieties to choose from! Here are three of my favorites:
Chabichou – the wrinkled bonde or cylinder shape makes it easy to recognize! From the Loire Valley, this creamy, slightly nutty cheese pair so well with candied walnuts and a glass of Sancerre. Also great served warm in a goat cheese salad.
Selles Sur Cher – gooey is good here! This cheese is a stunner with its beautiful ash rind. Serve it alongside juicy pears and the notes of minerality can be also echoed with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Sainte-Maure – amazing, tangy concentrated flavor in this cheese. Serve it cut into coins with thin fruit and nut crackers or a figgy jam. A light, bright Loire red would be perfect here.
Products were provided by the Goat Cheeses of France campaign.