Montcabrer: An Easy-Going Goat Cheese from Spain
January 12, 2011
Montcabrer looks as if it has been charred by fire. While its jet black coat and ivory interior give it a black-tie-formal look, this cheese is more outdoor-casual. Montcabrer is a goat cheese that is easy to enjoy.
Montcabrer is a firm cheese from the Catalonia area of Spain. Josep Cuixart uses pasteurized goat’s milk to make Montcabrer. The cheese is finished with a vegetable oil bath and charcoal. Montcabrer is aged for 2-3 months before market.
Montcabrer has beautiful contrasting color. A deep black rind surrounds its cream interior. The rind has bright dashes of white surface molds. The rind is smooth to the touch but leaves a fine dust like dry ink on the fingers.
We anticipated Montcabrer to smell like a campfire, but its rind had familiar cheese scents of soil and mushrooms. The interior paste has a buttery aroma.
Montcabrer’s flavor is initially buttery and sweet, but it finishes sharply tangy. The cheese has a brief tangy after-taste and a chewy texture. The rind adds a strong mushroom flavor that we thought unappealing, so we ate around it.
We all liked Montcabrer. It held greater favor with those partial to goat’s milk cheeses, but its buttery creaminess made for an all-around appealing cheese. Montcabrer makes a nice cheese for snacking or to accompany a casual meal.
Although Montcabrer provides lovely visual contrast, we struggled to keep the rind’s black dust from smudging the cheese paste. Pre-cut portions would ensure the cheese is not overly handled and devoid of fingerprints.
Purchase Notes: We purchased Montcabrer at Cowgirl Creamery (San Francisco).