September 29, 2014

SAY CHEESE | The Drunken Goat

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By GWEN PETRO

When roaming the vast selection of cheeses at Wegmans, it isn’t hard for a cheese-lover like myself to feel overwhelmed. Of course, it’s hard to go wrong with the standard Brie and cheddar. However, there are also hundreds of more adventurous cheeses to try which may either be delicious or leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. The pressure to choose a great cheese can lead to indecision and even anxiety.  I’ve been known to wander the dairy section for up to a half hour, inadvertently driving my friends crazy. Luckily, now you and your friends can rely on this blog to ease your cheese shopping woes.

Skimming the endless aisles of cheese, I felt somehow drawn to a cheese called The Drunken Goat, or as makers of the Spanish cheese call it, “Cabra al Vino.” The image of a drunken goat conjured up the too-familiar experience of party hopping in Collegetown while wobbling clumsily in heels. The wine-colored wax surrounding the pale cheese brought the scent of a Cabernet to mind, and I was sold. I thought to myself, “What could be better than wine and cheese besides cheese with wine already in it?!”

Once I was back at home, I eagerly prepared a plate of cheese and crackers — obviously my favorite snack. First, I tried a slice of the easily cut cheese on its own.  The smell was certainly not abrasive or stinky, but mild and slightly sweet. Upon taking a bite, I was welcomed by a gently firm texture somewhere between a semi-soft Havarti and a strong cheddar. The cheese had a slight bitterness which was artfully counterbalanced with hints of fruity wine. The result was so delicious and I could hardly resist cutting myself a slice every time I opened my fridge that following week.

If you’re looking for a tasty cheese that can stand on its own as the breakout star of a plate of cheese and crackers, The Drunken Goat is your girl. I would recommend pairing it with some plain crackers (my go-to is Carr’s Table Water Crackers).  Unfortunately, if you are hoping to get drunk off of cheese you’re out of luck, but you can certainly enjoy it with a glass (or two) of some red dessert wine that may do the trick. I would not recommend melting this cheese for cooking, but shavings could be used as a wonderful addition to a light salad of arugula and red-wine vinaigrette.

My risky choice of a new cheese was a success — I picked a winner.  I urge my fellow cheese lovers to head to Wegmans and try The Drunken Goat for yourselves. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab another new type of cheese as well. Trust me; chances are you won’t regret it!

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