Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.
There's good news for those of us who strive to incorporate cheese into every meal possible: Goat cheeses are not all the same. Since there are so many different flavor profiles, textures, and degrees of crumbliness in goat cheese (due to how and how long it's aged), there are endless ways to use it. Here are the three main categories of goat cheese:
Valençay (1), Crottin (2), Chabichou du Poitou (3), Bûcheron or Bûcherondin (4), and Florette (5)
The variety we're likely to choose for a cheese spread is soft-ripened, but there are so many types, trying to figure out which one to get at the farmers market or grocery can be tricky. Here's a little guide to help you out (pictured above, too):
(Note: If you can't find the varieties we've shown here, do a little cheesemongering of your own and look for similar characteristics in other types of goat cheese.)
Once you get home, goat cheese will keep in the fridge, tightly sealed, for 2 to 3 weeks. Store soft or semi-soft cheese in a resealable plastic container. For semi-hard cheeses, wrap in parchment or wax paper and then in foil or plastic wrap to prevent from drying out. It's best to store any cheese in the vegetable crisper, where the temperature is cold and stable. Always serve goat cheese at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge 30 minutes or so before serving.
As for what to do with all these cheeses, we asked our Test Kitchen Manager Derek for some ideas on how to incorporate goat cheese into sweet, savory, and everything-in-between dishes. From chilaquiles to plum tart, here’s how to eat goat cheese for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Start your day the goat cheese way.
Lunch, dinner, lunner, etc.
Salads of all sorts.
A little sweet, a little savory.
What's your favorite dish with goat cheese? Tell us in the comments below!
Photos by James Ransom and Bobbi Lin