I hate to generalise, continue to test myself and understand that there are different types of goats cheese – but I seriously detest it. I recently found out, while visiting my Grandparents, that they too have a severe dislike for the product. Delving a little deeper into the history of this shared feeling, we discovered that all three of us were put off for life on the same day, 15 years ago…
Visits to my Grandparent’s house used to be a regular thing when I was a teenager, they had just retired from busy lives as pub landlords and loved playing host. Their journey to Norwich to a special French market resulted in a haul of French delicacies: charcuterie, smelly cheeses, crusty bread and fine wine. My sister and I were greeted with a warm welcome and a beautiful array of delights spread across the table. We couldn’t wait to begin.
I scanned my eyes across the table and a small ash coloured cheese called out to me, I took a generous corner of the cheese, smeared it onto a chunk of crusty baguette and took a huge bite. The pungent fumes shot up the back of my throat and into my nose, panic took hold and I expelled it from my mouth in the best manner possible.
From that day onward, I have been haunted by that experience – the musty, tang of a flavour summed up perfectly by ingredients expert Glynn Christian (Real Flavours):
“Some palates do a very curious thing: they dramatically heighten the flavour of the oil that gives the goaty tang. The minutest amount is blown up to fill the mouth with what you might imagine is the taste of licking between the rear leg and testicles of an aged billy-goat on a particularly hot day.”
Although rather vulgar, I do quote this when people try to persuade me to taste goats cheese, and I have a feeling my Grandparents may use the reference too when necessary!