Twig Farm Washed Rind Wheel: Goat Cheese of Surprises
October 27, 2010
Twig Farm Washed Rind Wheel is a goat cheese of surprise and delight. I suspect when most people hear “goat cheese,” they think of snow-white, dense chevre. Twig Farm Washed Rind Wheel is so far from that image that one asks: is this really a goat cheese?
Twig Farm Washed Rind Wheel is a semi-soft raw goat’s milk cheese (raw cow’s milk is added sometimes). It is produced by Twig Farm in Vermont. It is aged for approximately 80 days and is washed with a whey brine.
This cheese has a pale yellow interior paste that seems closer to cow’s milk cheese than to milky-white goat cheese. The paste has irregular flat holes. Its thin rind is peach-colored and is splotched with bright yellow and traces of white surface molds. To the touch, Twig Farm Washed Rind Wheel is bouncy and pliable. Its rind is smooth, yet tacky.
For a washed rind cheese, Twig Farm Washed Rind Wheel’s aromas are surprisingly mild. Its rind smells like a garden–there are green leaf and herbal scents–with some smoky aromas. The interior paste smells like melted butter and macaroni & cheese.
Twig Farm Washed Rind Wheel has a smoky flavor, with some savory and tangy flavors at the end. It is buttery smooth in the mouth; the paste is thick but not cloying. This is a full-flavored cheese, yet its flavors do not over-whelm the palate.
This cheese is addictive. We demolished Twig Farm Washed Rind Wheel during our tasting. Jacob loved its flavor and creamy texture of the cheese and asked me to purchase it again.
Twig Farm Washed Rind Wheel is fantastic. This cheese defies conventional expectations of goat cheese, yet that should not deter purchase. Twig Farm Washed Rind Wheel could be shared at a picnic, party or casual meal. It is well-behaved out of refrigeration and does not have off-putting odors. This cheese is destined for repurchase.
Purchase Notes: We purchased Twig Farm Washed Rind at Cheese Plus (San Francisco).