Producer: Cypress Grove Chevre, Arcata, California
Web site: http://www.cypressgrovechevre.com Phone: 707-825-1100
Designer: The originator of Cypress Grove Chevre, Mary Keehn, launched her business in 1983. She had vacationed in France and was introduced to Morbier cheese. On the plane coming back from France, she envisioned a place, a wooded area by the coast with a tree line and fog spilling over the tree line. She mystically received the name of the company and the specifics of how to produce the cheese. The ash ripple in the middle of the cheese represents the coastal fog of Humbolt County. In 2010, she sold the company to Emmi, a Swiss company made up of a cooperative of small dairy farmers and dairy operators. Mary is still involved in the company and her touch gets my full approval.
Owners: Emmi Corporate, USA
Designer: Mary KeehnTerroir: California coast line, redwood and cypress groves. Lots of rain and salty fog-saturated air
Milk: Goat, pasteurized milk. Toggenburg, Saanen, Alpine, and Lamancha
Milk Fat: 25 %
Type: Pasteurized goats milk
Rind: Natural, dry stark-white bloomy rind over vegetable ash
Paste: Creamy-white ooziness under rind with an egg-shell white dry crumbly paste with a thin black centre line of ash
Aged: soft ripened, not cave-aged
Affineur and Aging: proteolysis continues to create ooze up to a quarter inch thick, cheese texture is firm and moist.
Culture: peniciilium candidum sprayed over ash.
Coagulant: microbial enzyme (non-animal rennet), stands overnight to build up flavours
Shape: 1lb (Mini) and 5 lb wheels (Grande)
Shelf-life: 8 weeks, uncut
Awards: First Place, American Cheese Society, 1998, 2002, 2005; World Championship Cheese Contest, 2010; Gold, London International Cheese Competition, 2004
Tasting Notes: Slight damp odour of mushroom and buttermilk. Paste lends some herbal flavours and mineral tones with saltiness and a crisp finish of citrus. Rind is chewy with intense mushroom-fungus flavours that finish with some meatiness, leaving the palate begging for more.
Pairings Beer: Porter, Pale Ale or Stout. Wines: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel or Pinot Noir
Serving Suggestions from the maker: Drizzle with honey to tone down the saltiness and serve with prosciutto, tart apple and marcona almonds. Crumble atop mixed baby greens and roasted beets and serve with a simple vinaigrette.