Sofia: A Beautiful Ugly Goat Cheese
December 23, 2010
Sofia may be the ugly duckling of the cheese world. To judge by our sample, Sofia looks like something retrieved from my compost bin. Yet if one looks beneath Sofia’s scraggly skin of dark ash and gray-green mold, one discovers a beautiful swan: Sofia is a lovely white goat cheese that is delicious.
Sofia is a young goat cheese produced by Capriole Farmstead Goat Cheese in Indiana. It is a chevre-style cheese that has an elongated pyramid format. The cheese is covered with vegetable ash and has an additional ash layer running horizontally through its middle. It is aged for one week before market.
Sofia has a rind like the skin of a burnt marshmallow that slides around on its interior when touched. The rind is heavily wrinkled and ashy, with patches of green surface molds.
The cheese paste is dense and creamy, with a thin translucent paste just beneath the rind. As our sample sat of refrigeration, the translucent paste mixed with the rind’s ash and created an inky ooze. My son said Sofia looked like a white squid with a burst ink sac.
Sofia’s flavor is sharply tangy. The cheese paste has a creamy, yet dense texture. The translucent paste near the rind has a biting flavor similar to that in blue cheese. Sofia’s rind was so angry looking and showed evidence of green mold, that we avoided eating it.
Sofia is an excellent goat cheese. This cheese reminded us a lot of Humboldt Fog, but we thought Sofia saltier and lacking the sweetness imparted from the vegetable ash.
The only problem we had with Sofia was it appearance. Our sample of Sofia degraded quite a bit when out of refrigeration. The translucent paste’s turn into an inky ooze was unattractive and is not something I’d serve guests. Sofia’s appearance did not deter us from our enjoyment, however, and I would definitely purchase this cheese again.
Purchase Notes: We purchased Sofia at The Cheese Board (Berkeley, CA).