Hölzige Geiss (Wooden Goat) - Raw goat milk Vacherin-style


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Hölzige Geiss (Wooden Goat) - Raw goat milk Vacherin-style

Melanie Wong | Feb 26, 2013 04:02 PM

Picked up a quarter-round of Hölzige Geiss at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco on Friday . . . and this was one of the few times that I've not tasted a cheese before buying it there. Big mistake, as I absolutely hated this and paid $12 ($39.99/lb) for the privilege.

Also called Holzerne Geiss, the name means "wooden goat". It's made in Vacherin style in the Swiss Alps and bound with a band of fir that imparts a smokey, piney note to the cheese. My example was quite different from this tasting note that describes it as "...mild upfront ... very little goatiness".

I suspect that my example was far riper. Squishy to the touch even when refrigerator temperature, most of the pale ivory paste had the "marshmallow" texture described, but about one-third of the core was liquid enough to be spoonable. I found the flavor to be quite tart, decaying meat-tasting, bitter, goaty, offensively pungent, and very earthy.

One of the smelliest cheeses I've run across, and even though I sliced off the washed rind mold and avoided eating, much of that still affected the taste. So stinky, I couldn't keep the debris in the house. Instead, I tossed it in the yard figuring it could keep away grazing deer and maybe even mountain lions.

The producer also makes a cow's milk cheese in the same style. I might give that a try . . . and I'll be sure to taste before buying.


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