Region: Humboldt County, California
Milk: Pasteurized Goat
Situated where the giant redwoods meet the Pacific Ocean in the rugged northernmost reaches of Humboldt County, California, Cypress Grove Creamery gets unique inspiration from the salt-etched voluminous fog that coolly rolls in nearly every day.
One of the most unique American goat cheeses out there, Humboldt Fog is Cypress Grove’s signature cheese. Sitting on a cheeseboard, a slice of Humboldt Fog looks like a wedge of ghostly, delicate cake. A line of dark ash delineates the rind and another thin line of ash runs through the core of the cheese, representing the line of thick morning fog in Humboldt County that visually divides the Pacific Ocean from the famous redwood forests. The edible ash comes from the burning of the White pine tree.
The molds are half-filled, then sprinkled with salt and ash and then the molds are topped with remaining curds. The wheels are also coated with the same ash before they develop the bloomy white rind. When Humboldt is ripe it is creamy under the rind and firm in the center. The flavour will be mild and balanced, not particularly goaty.
Elegant and luscious, this three-week old cheese pays homage to classic French Morbier by running a thin line of grey vegetable ash through its creamy, white center. As Humboldt Fog ages, its subtle tanginess grows more pronounced and a runny edge of thick and delicious ooze begins to develop under the rind and drift to the center of the cheese. Its similarity to Humboldt County’s morning fog is unmistakable and lovely to behold.
For a simple yet elegant dessert or snack: serve with honeycomb, pears, and a crisp white wine. Place a slice atop a delicious salad of spinach, apple, mandarin oranges, walnuts, cranberries, and red bell pepper. Drizzle with raspberry-balsamic vinaigrette.Humboldt Fog pairs nicely with wild mushrooms and other earthy flavours.