One of My New Favorite Goat Cheeses
If you enjoy goat cheese and are looking for one to serve to friends or just enjoy at home with a piece of French bread, I recommend you take a look at Caprifeuille. I was looking for a cheese to serve at a small dinner party with some friends over the holidays and asked my friend Cheese-man Jack for a recommendation and he came up with Sainte-Maure Caprifeuille.
At first he wanted to sell me an older version of this cheese, “same cheese only aged 2 – 3 months longer” but much firmer with a stronger taste. We talked about it and decided to go with the younger brother that is just as good but a little milder.
What’s In a Name
Don’t be confused with Sainte Maure de Touraine, another goat cheese from the same region that’s similar but different. Caprifeuille is an aged (about 10 days) cheese made from fresh goats milk with a “granulose” rind that’s fine to eat but also easily removable for those who don’t like the rind.
Once you get inside, that’s where the fun begins. When young, the smooth, white interior paste is creamy and tart. Some say it even has a “lemony” taste. As this cheese ages, and I’m talking about weeks to months, the cheese loses moisture and becomes firmer and a little crumbly. With age, the flavor takes on a sweeter, nutty taste that should be pleasing to any goat cheese lover.
Sevre & Belle
The Caprifeuille I enjoyed was produced by Sèvre-et-Belle, a Cooperative that specializes in making premium goat-milk cheeses and traditional churn butters. It has been in operation since 1893.
The log shaped Caprifeuille comes from the Loire Valley in Western France. The goats get to graze on the rolling hills of the Loire Valley feasting on fragrant grasses giving their milk its wonderful flavor for making the famous goat cheeses.
The Short of It
Milk Type: goat’s milk
Region: Loire Valley
Type: Soft to Semi-Soft
Taste: Tart, lemony, acid and a little salty
Aroma: Floral, Fresh, Goaty
Fat content: 50%
Aging Time: About 10 days
Texture: Dense and crumbles easily
Color: Exterior – Dusty Chalky White, Interior – White
What To Serve With Caprifeuille
It goes great with just some fresh French bread but I’ve served it with crackers along side some candied nuts, dried fruits and honey. A nice white Sauvignon Blanc is a good wine choice but then I think most white wines will work with this cheese. You can even try a light and fruit red wine like a Sancerre.
Where to Purchase Sainte-Maure Caprifeuille
I suggest you start with your local cheese shop if you have one near you. If they don’t sell the Caprifeuille, ask the manager to start bringing it in. They may or may not but it’s worth the request.
I don’t think you’re going to find it in your everyday supermarket, but some of the high-end markets like Whole Foods or Wegmans should carry it. If all else fails, you can always order it online but be prepared to pay for overnight shipping.