Sometimes I fall in love with a cheese all over again. It usually happens when I've not tasted a particular cheese for months. Just like in the movies, long lost lovers reunited... well maybe not exactly like the movies, but there is definitely music involved.
Today I fell in love again with the Crottin de Champcol. This is a simple pasteurized goat cheese from Loire, France. Its shape is a small cylinder, about 2" in height and about 2" in diameter. Depending on the age, it can weigh between 2 to 3 ounces. It is soft when young, firm and ca key as it takes on more age and when well aged they are very hard, suitable for grating. Each stage of this cheese is enjoyable. While young, the clean white rind and interior are creamy and slightly nutty. I especially like it with more age when the rind is slightly beige, the flavor is more pronounced with a distinct goat flavor that stands up for attention. Well aged, it becomes hard, oftentimes covered in dark mold and a strong flavor not for the light of heart.
Crottin in French means "road-apple" (or dropping). A very well aged Crottin, dark with mold, looks very much like what one would find scattered on any French countryside road.
I suggest you try this yummy cheese at room temperature after your dinner. Surprise your dining companion with this little guy and serve it with fruit, bread and a bottle of Sancerre. Take my advice and save the "road-apple" story until after the cheese is gone.