I have gone totally goaty lately, which is good since it is National Goat Cheese Month. My selections have ranged from fresh and tangy to pungent and earthy, most of which I have devoured with pleasure. None, however, have stopped me in my tracks and brought an audible “WOW!” from my lips the way Monte Enebro has.
Monte Enebro was created a mere fifteen years ago by renowned cheesemaker Rafael Baez and his daughter, Paloma in Avila, Spain. Baez has cleverly used penicillium roqueforti, the same mold used to make Roquefort to create the log-like rind. Instead of puncturing to allow for the blue veins, the mold forms on the rind itself giving the cheese a log-like appearance while infusing depth and character to the flavor.
Not your garden variety aged goat’s milk cheese, this Spanish delicacy grabs the tongue at first bite and doesn’t let go. When young, Monte Enebro has a bright, lemony flavor and slightly chalky texture. Allowed to age (as my sample was) and it becomes a whole new cheese. The earthy barnyard taste of the rind mixes with the runny, assertive center and just explodes with salty goaty goodness.
Best Spanish goat cheese winner in 2003, Monte Enebro is deserving of high praise. Pair with Sauternes or a Spanish dessert wine.
August may be National Goat Cheese Month, but I think I may have to continue consuming this delectable treasure all year round.