It’s August and that means it’s National Goat Cheese Month, so what better way to celebrate than with a little goat cheese tasting! Chabichou and Charollais Affine, may look similar, but these tiny cylanders of goodness have some distinct personalities.
Beginning with the Chabichou, this pasteurized goat cheese is produced in the French region of Poitou-Charentes, just south of Loire Valley. While it is one of the older French cheeses it only recently won name-protection (AOC), guaranteeing the authenticity of its origin. Aged a mere six weeks and hardly the size of a wine glass, Chabichou big on flavor. The wrinkly bloomy rind has a chalky exterior and slightly salty and tangy flavor surrounding a dense, sweet paste. Those who tend to shy away from the intensity of goat cheese will be pleasantly surprised by how mild this cheese really is.
Charollais comes from the granite plains around the Charolles region of Bourgogne, near the Beaujolais vineyards, from which it gets its name. Unpasteurized and aged just beyond the typical sixty days, these tiny towers can display anything from a clean cakey rind to one speckled with green mold (totally safe to eat). The sweet spring milk used to produce Charollais creates an almost dessert-like flavor in the dense creamy paste. Unlike the mild style of Chabichou, Charollais can be a bit more minerally and intense in flavor.
Both Charollais and Chabichou pair well with crisp dry white wines or a fruity rose while more intense reds may be a bit overpowering. As with all cheeses, these are seasonal fromages so be sure to head grab them when you see them.