You guys, this is the 2nd time I’ve managed to work goats into a post. I think that’s pretty rad. This time, it’s not about goat wine, but wine’s bff – cheese. And more specifically? Goat cheese.*
Lately I’ve been noticing goat cheese on stuff more and more. And you might think ok, so what? Well I’ma tell you what. I’m tired of it. Seriously.
Let’s go on back, way back to the mid-to-late 90s when the UIG was just a freshly-married kinda girl, given to hosting fun fun fun parties, get-togethers and shindigs. Always those events require food of some sort, and a lot of the time the good old cheese and cracker plate was a go-to for parties. Cheese = fat and protein for sopping up the booze. Crackers = starchy starches for sopping up the booze. (sense a trend here?) So way back in the day, I remember shopping for a party and zoning in on this little cylinder of cheese – why, it’s goat cheese! And you could buy it (in my grocery store, anyway) with a coating of herbs or cranberries or black peppercorns for a spicy spice hit. And you could serve it cut in rounds or as a whole log (which sounds funny) for spreading (a whole log for spreading, come on, that’s genius word play right there!) And it was tasty! Really tasty! The kind of cheese that has a full-on wrestle with your taste buds, in a good way.
And so, UIG, party hoster extraordinaire hopped on that goat cheese bandwagon and started serving it straight up, crumbled in salads, added to dishes, etc. And then? Then it went the late-90s version of viral. Motherfucking stuff was everywhere.
Now in no way am I claiming that I, the UIG, was the person responsible for introducing this cheesy comestible to the world. No how. Goat cheese has been around since the dawn of goats, no doubt. Nor am I saying that because I introduced it in my parties, everyone started following my lead and my trend, I’m just saying that it did seem to have a heyday back about 10-12 years ago and that heyday? Has just kept on heydaying, and shows no signs of slowing down.
And so this gets me thinking – does cheese have an expiry date? Trend-wise, not going off wise (because obvi actual cheese can’t last forever). Or does it keep on keeping on? And if so, why?
What about all the other tasty, tasty cheeses out there? Why aren’t they cheese of the month (or year, or decade for chrissakes)? Why is it that every restaurant I step into has SOMETHING that includes goat cheese, be it a pizza or a salad? And why do I care? I actually don’t have the answer to those questions. Or do I?
For the “why should I care?” question I’ll give you this. I don’t eat meat. This limits what options I have at most restaurants, unless they are specifically vegetarian restaurants. So. Often when entrees are meat-based, pasta dishes are the only veg options. Or pizzas. Or meal-sized salads (which, when you consider the realms of possibilities there are for vegetarian dishes, is pretty fucking sad, but that’s a whole other blog post, kids) And I can 99 times out of 100 guarantee that one of those veg options is going to have the cheese of the motherfucking goat.
So again I say, why? Can we not, by now, have a substitute favourite cheese for salads and pizzas? And don’t even talk to me about its meltability properties – lots of cheeses melt and melt better. Sure it’s flavourful, but godammit, so are a lot of cheeses.
I guess I’m just saying that goat cheese, for me, has run its course. It’s no longer trendy, new and exciting. That tangy, exciting flavour that was once so fresh, with such a wow factor, has become – for me – like eating Velveeta. Meh. There’s got to be some movement on the cheese front, people. Perhaps I’m the one to lead the charge. Perhaps, just like years ago, I should head to my local cheese shop (yes, I actually do have a local cheese shop and it’s awesome!) and just pick something that looks interesting, try it, and start serving it to guests. And maybe, just maybe, that will be the start of another cheesy revolution!
Aaaand then in 12 years I will have to write this post again, about Pecorino or something. You’ve been warned.
*I would just like to clarify that this rant about goat cheese is specifically aimed at those prepackaged logs of goat cheese available at the supermarket. I know there are probably excellent artisanal type goat cheeses that come in lots of different forms, and I should probably seek those out so that I might change my tune. But I’m feeling ranty.