Most people leave cheese aging to the cheesemakers but not our friend Lorna's dad Dave. He was given a free 16 ounce wheel Humboldt Fog cheese from Cypress Grove Chevre in Arcata (it was overly salted and they wouldn't sell it) and after returning home, a few miles away, he promptly put it in his kegarator. He also promptly forgot about it. For a year and a half.
The cheese stayed in its original wrapper in his kegarator for 18 months before he laid eyes and hands on it again. Accidental affineur Dave wasn't so into the now hard-as-a-rock goat cheese but his daughter Lorna and her husband Steve were.
If you haven't tried Humboldt Fog get your hands on some. It's soft ripened goat cheese with a ribbon of ash through the center that's sold when it's soft with fresh chevre in the center and ooey, gooey closer to the surface.
After a year-and-a-half the Humboldt Fog became hard, dry and more salty. Think of an older manchego but with goat milk. Steve and Lorna ate it grated it over food and thinly sliced on its own for a couple weeks before heading up from Arcata to visit us.
Since stopping through Portland and setting off for their year-and-a-half Land Rover journey around North, Central and South America Steve and Lorna left the home-aged cheese with us. Lucky us. Truly.
I don't know how brave you are about food and I don't know how strict you are with expiration dates but we're pretty happy that Dave forgot about the cheese. Many great foods are the result of kitchen mishaps and although I won't go so far as to say this is better than Humboldt Fog as intended I will say it's pretty dang delicious.
The other night we grated it over spicy lamb and bulgar red sauce spaghetti and last weekend we grated it over eggs. This week I'm thinking more omelettes with grated cheese and chives. In other words, we're digging it.
Cypress Grove Chevre www.cypressgrovechevre.com 707.825.1100 1330 Q Street Arcata, California