Pata Cabra: An Intriguing Goat Cheese

March 26, 2011

Pata Cabra is a quirky goat cheese.  It has an intriguing flavor that we were challenged to describe, but had us thinking about meadow flowers.  While Pata Cabra appealed to some of our tasters, its flavor and texture gave others pause.

Pata Cabra (also called Queso Patacabra) is a semi-soft cheese from the Aragon region of Spain.  It is a washed rind cheese made with pasteurized goat’s milk.  It is produced in a large brick format and aged for about 3 weeks before market.

pata_cabra_cheese_by_cheesechatter_march_2011The whole cheese resembles a loaf of rustic bread (our sample is a cross-wise slice of the loaf).  Pata Cabra’s natural rind gives a golden crust-like skin to the cheese.  The interior paste is milky white and has flat oval holes.  To the touch, the cheese paste is greasy and springy.

Although this cheese is described elsewhere as pungent, our sample was aromatically tame (perhaps our cheese was young).  Pata Cabra’s paste smells like melted butter and baked cheese crackers.  The rind smells like cooked broccoli.

Pata Cabra has an interesting flavor.   It has a light sour flavor and some tanginess that is similar to American sour cream, but neither flavor lingers.  Pata Cabra’s more dominant flavor is buttery, sweet and floral.  On the tongue, the cheese is thick and chewy.

Pata Cabra received mixed reviews.  Our juvenile tasters both liked Pata Cabra, as it combined their love of semi-soft cheeses with a washed rind.  Our adults tasters were less impressed with its “rubbery texture” and “cooked” flavor.  Pata Cabra’s flavor is intriguing, yet it may not have universal appeal.

Purchase Notes:  We purchased Pata Cabra from Cowgirl Creamery (San Francisco).  Our slice was about .25-pounds.

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