Paillot de Chèvre

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I’ve never had this cheese before, which is a really stupid comment: there are hundreds and hundreds of cheeses. And though I eat a lot of cheese, there are many I haven’t tried. Obviously.

Paillot de Chèvre is a Quebec cheese, goat also obviously. I don’t recall where I got it, and it was on its last legs — but that never deters me: the older and fuller-bodied, the better.

It’s rich cheese with a bloomy exterior of a few centimeters and a firmer, ivory centre. When warmed out of the fridge, it is smooth and creamy but with just a hint of chalkiness, in a good way.

It has a bit of tang and some nuttiness along with some very pleasant goatiness. Again, for me, the stronger the better.

Like a lot of chèvre, it’s log shaped — this one was about eight or nine centimeters or so in diameter. As with many bûcheron– or log-type cheeses, you get two (and sometimes three) different textures.

What makes it unique is the scalloped edges of the cheese when it was cut along its width into disks or medallions and packaged: that’s the result of the log being supported by straws (probably not natural straw) secured along the length of its exterior. (Paillot in French refers to “straw.”)

The technique gives the chèvre an interesting ridged, scalloped appearance and permits easy handling of the cheese as it is aging as well as protection during transport. The straws are removed and the log cut into slices for retail.

Try it sometime!

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