Day 40-Florette

I went cruising yesterday-for cheese.  I had an hour to spare at Granville Island market and found all sorts of cheese that I must-and will-eat.  There are a number of cheese sellers that have pre-sliced little “amuse bouche” sized portions, so that’s a great way to just get out there and try cheese without making a huge commitment.Try cheese, I urge you, cheese is good.  Well, lots of cheese is good.  Some cheese is insipid, some is overly raunchy, but more is factory produced, and probably not even “cheese” if you come right down to it. Most of the so-called “cheese” eaten in North America isn’t even cheese at all.  That’s the scary truth, if it says “cheese product,” it isn’t.

I am excited about today’s cheese, it’s called Florette and it’s a GOAT CHEESE-it looks like a brie, and I guess that brie also comes in goat, which is very cool for those folks who can’t do the bovine, or who just like to switch it up.  I’m not sure why, but it seems like goat milk is easier to tolerate on the gut-does this translate into goat cheese being easier to tolerate?  I’m sure that many people would shy away from a goat brie, as goat has a –partially deserved-reputation as being foul-smelling and foul-tasting.  However, in the world of cheese where foul becomes the sublime, goat transforms-at times-to the most lofty heights.

Wow, I hope this cheese doesn’t suck after all that  rhapsodizing about goat!

Florette is a goat cheese from France.  That’s it.  My usually helpful wrapper says nothing more.  Luckily, this cheese has its own website-and I do appreciate it when a cheese goes out of its way to have an online presence, and in English!  Check out, it’s the website for the Fromagerie Guilloteau which makes Florette and about 20 other products.  It seems to be a very organized little fromagerie, employing over 200 people, and it’s been around since 1983.  Jean-Claude Guilloteau, the founder and creator of his cheese masterpieces, developes new twists on old cheeses, most of them are ripened in his tell-tale octagonal shape, including Florette.

Florette is his version of a brie made from goat-he also does a famous cow brie called D’affinois.  This cheese apparently is very soft and gooey, although my slice seems to be behaving too much, so I’m going to wait a bit before tasting it. This is a bloomy rind cheese, and is made from pasteurized milk.  When I initially started this cheese journey I couldn’t comprehend how there were so many cheeses out there-but it’s all starting to make sense.  First, there are many fundamental types of cheese, foundation cheeses-let’s call them.  But then you have individual communities with different angles on making these cheeses-many of these accepted as AOC.  Then you have all these new fangled fromageries cropping up, making their own versions of these cheeses and giving them yet another name.  Are there really thousands of cheeses, or just hundreds-each with infinite variations?  I think that’s closer to the truth.

My little slice of Florette beseeches me charmingly from its wrapper. It’s very pale and wan, and seems lifeless. It’s warmed up a bit, but isn’t running all over the place like a toddler on sugar, so I am a little worried, it’s supposed to be a “runner.”  It definitely smells “goaty.”  You simply can’t deny that odour, but it’s relatively faint.

Here goes…

Mmmmm, this is a good cheese.  It is very creamy, as a brie should be.  It’s not ridiculously slutty creamy, like some of the triple cream bries I have tasted.  It is a forward little cheese, but it’s not throwing itself all over my teeth and tongue, it’s asking to be let in.The flavour is quite mild, slightly salty, and very light, it’s not sweet, but it is extremely toothsome.  This cheese would rock with some baguette.  I keep eating it, I can’t stop, goat milk is low-fat, right?  Wow, the juxtaposition of goat and brie really works here, it’s refreshing and a nice change after the never-ending array of cow cheese.  This one’s petty safe for a goat, you can easily serve this to the squeamish.  It would be a good entry way into goat.

Florette, I give you a highly coveted 5 out of 5.  You are a great twist on an old cheese, your flavour is toothsome and refreshing, and I will definitely be adding you to my cheese plate.