As we all know know, tastes change with the season. When the warm weather arrives and through the summer, we get a taste for goat cheese. There is something about it's creamy, slightly chalky texture and grassy, herbal flavors that seem to go with spring and summer. I rarely reach for goat cheese in the wintertime although at this time of year I have been known to add it to almost anything.
Valencay is a French goat cheese. It looks like a squared off, almost pyramid and the natural rind is a dusty greyish blue from a combination of natural mold and charcoal. It is a young cheese with a slightly sharp acidity. The flavors evoke images of tall grass, sunshine and dirt roads. It's texture is a bit dry at first, moistening on the palate and growing almost creamy as you chew it and let it roll around your tongue.
One of our favorite combinations is Valencay and fresh beets. The sweetness of the root vegetable contrasts nicely with the sharper and creamier elements of the goat cheese. In a pinch it also pairs nicely with chestnut honey and fresh bread. In fact, Valencay with a crusty baguettes and some freshly sliced tomatoes with crunchy sea salt makes a wonderful lunch. Add some good company and that's all you need to make the world seem like a better place.