Chow Town

Humboldt Fog’s tangy flavors evolve with age

Humboldt Fog soft-ripened goat cheese features a distinctive line of ash through its middle.
Humboldt Fog soft-ripened goat cheese features a distinctive line of ash through its middle.

October is American Cheese Month. The American Cheese Society says, “American Cheese Month is a celebration of North America’s delicious and diverse cheeses, and the farmers, cheesemakers, retailers, cheesemongers and chefs who bring them to your table.”

So I thought I would bring a different cheese to Chow Town readers every day in October. Stay tuned to see what delicious cheeses North America has to offer! There are sure to be some classic favorites and new must-haves that will suit everyone’s tastes.

Humboldt Fog

Producer: Cypress Grove Chevre

Place: Arcata, Calif.

Milk: Goat

Type: Soft-ripened

Humboldt Fog has become an American favorite. Since 1983, Mary Keehn has made goat cheese in California, becoming one of the pioneers in introducing it to the United States.

Humboldt Fog is creamy but crumbly and liquid just under the rind. This “cream line” expands as the cheese ages. A good example of what is called proteolysis is found underneath the rind of Humboldt Fog. This is the scientific term for the breakdown of protein, and this is what makes the cream line form.

I prefer Humboldt Fog at its younger stages, although I would not turn it down when it is older. When young, the flavors are of citrus, herbs and buttermilk. The tangy flavors are bright and a little acidic in a pleasant way. The defining visual characteristic of this cheese is the ash line through its middle.

Lincoln Broadbooks loves cheese. He is one of the first cheesemongers in the United States and Canada to become an American Cheese Society certified cheese professional. He is the manager and buyer for The Better Cheddar in Prairie Village. You can find him on Twitter @LincolnBbooks and on Instagram @lincycheese.