Around the corner from my apartment is a lovely little shop called The Wine and Cheese Cask. Stocked with wine I don’t drink and cheese I don’t eat, I appreciate its diverse offerings while limiting my purchases to Sam Adams and prosecco.
Like any non-psychopath out there, I love mozzarella, parmesan, and mild cheddar cheese. I’ll even go crazy with sharp cheddar every once in awhile, and my favorite holiday appetizer is baked brie with Ritz crackers. Within the last year, I’ve also gotten over my disgust of feta sitting in brine (so big!) and eat that regularly.
But that’s pretty much where my cheese exploration ends. I won’t even touch Tostito’s queso because liquid-y cheese freaks me out.
Clearly I have great strides to make in the dairy world. So this week I started chipping away at my cheese education with soft goat cheese. Now, my research for this week taught me that feta is, in fact, made from goat’s milk. I did not know. But having already tried what this package only generically describes as “soft goat cheese” (kinda sketchy when Wikipedia claims there are more than 100 much more specific varieties), I can tell you that it tasted nothing like feta.
I introduced myself to this cheese by mixing in some herbs, spreading it on some crusty bread, and topping it with fresh basil and roasted red peppers. The bread, basil, and peppers were delish.
And that’s the best I can say for this snack.
Right off the bat, the smell of the cheese turned me off. I don’t even like sniffing parmesan too closely, so the pungent funk of the goat cheese was off-putting to say the least.
The bread and other toppings were yummy enough for me to finish my slice, which shows that the flavor of the cheese wasn’t overly offensive. But I was left feeling very unsure about goat cheese.
To tip the scale one way or another, the next day, I mixed some into scrambled eggs to make an extra creamy, flavorful breakfast. Well, it was surely full of flavor, but not the kind I want to taste again.
Once again, the smell really got to me—more so than the night before, which could either be because I got inside my own head or because eggs have a much milder flavor than roasted peppers and basil, letting the goat cheese shine (and stink) more.
After not finishing those scrambled eggs, I determined that goat cheese is not for me. It’s too funky, and I’m just not there yet.
When I first googled ways to enjoy goat cheese in preparation for this week, I came across a very interesting (and ominous) search result. You know how Google has that “People also ask” section of search results? Well one asked “Why is goat cheese hated?”, and if I had seen that before buying the goat cheese, I probably would’ve saved myself the money and blog post.
The answer, which came from the Lively Run Goat Cheese Farm and Creamery site, really hit home:
“Some people have never tried goat cheese because they are picky eaters and don’t like trying something new. Others have tried goat cheese before and despised it because of a tangy, strong flavor that is associated with goat cheese known as “goatyness’.“
Two days ago, I fell into the category of the first sentence, and today, I can tell you that the goatyness is real! Call me crazy, but gooey, goaty funk just doesn’t do it for me!
Even though my “soft goat cheese” expedition didn’t pan out, there’s still a whole wide world of cheese out there (it’s actually right around the corner) for me to try. What kinds should I add to my repertoire next? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram @thepickyeaterchronicles. My charcuterie boards could use the pick-me-up.