Though it sounds a little "out there" at first, coffee-flavored goat cheese may just be the most underrated spreadable food item of all time. Seamlessly balancing strong, aromatic java notes with thick, creamy goat cheese, this is the only thing you need to be eating on your fruits, nuts, and crackers.
“If you’re a java junkie or you like coffee ice cream, you’ll like this,” the tour guide at Belle Chevre told us as they handed out samples of their coffee goat cheese spread. What he failed to mention was that my world was about to be flipped upside down and that a food that I thought I could not love anymore, goat cheese, was about to become even greater. Folks, I know this sounds dramatic, but I need you to listen closely. Coffee goat cheese exists, and if you like both of those things individually, just WAIT until you experience them in unison.
This past weekend, I spent a beautiful, sunny Saturday at Belle Chevre, a goat cheese farm in northern Alabama. I learned all about the process of making goat cheese from the people who make this insanely delicious product, plus I got to gawk up close and personal with some extremely friendly goats. Weekend well spent, if I do say so myself.
I’m a big fan of coffee ice cream, I’ll admit, but there was something about the coffee goat cheese spread that took this union of a strong, aromatic coffee flavor and a thick dairy component to a whole new level. Slightly tangier and way richer and creamier than your average scoop of ice cream, this goat cheese spread hits the tongue like a dense pillow of smooth, earthy java. With my lips trembling and my eyes watering (joyfully, of course), I knew that I had struck gold.
My initial question was how much of this did I think I could mindlessly spoon straight from the container to my face? The answer: all of it, no doubt. But as I thought harder and longer on this miracle cheese that had suddenly and unsuspectingly entered my life, I realized that the possibilities with such a spread are truly endless. Of course, it’d be delicious spread atop a cracker, wafer, or gingersnap cookie. It'd make for a delicious topping on a piece of french toast or a warm cinnamon raisin bagel. It could also be used in a goat cheese cheesecake for an unexpected, caffeinated zing. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, you could even make your own coffee goat cheese ice cream.
All of this to say, you don’t actually have to travel to Elkmont, Alabama and spend your day googly eyed over a couple goats to obtain this specialty product (although I would highly recommend it), as Belle Chevre products are available in supermarkets and Walmarts nationwide. Coffee is far from their only specialty flavor, as they also make, honey, fig, pimiento, and cinnamon, to name a few. They even told us about their “flavor graveyard,” which is home to a retired peanut butter and jelly goat cheese that I am convinced I was put on this planet to recreate.
What this trip to the farm taught me more than anything is that you should let goat cheese be your canvas. And you, my friend, are Picasso! Buy a plain log, and make a sweet goat cheese spread with cinnamon, vanilla, nut butters, dried fruit, chutneys, etc, or go the savory route and add spices, herbs, garlic, etc.
I spent the whole car ride home excited about unwrapping my precious coffee goat cheese first thing. I keep repeating to myself “I will not eat this all in one sitting.” So, I got home and spread it across a circular apple slice (I am the picture of health) and topped it with some toasted nuts and dark chocolate shavings (balance). I also somehow found the willpower to not eat the rest of container, but this stuff is seriously good. I give it one more day, tops.