Today's quiz: What is the greatest use of goat cheese on the American table? You guessed it: crumbled on a salad. A perfectly fresh goat cheese is about the best cheese you can put on your salad. It isn't heavy, goes great with olive oil, is delicious, and actually good for you! When goat cheese first hit the grocery store shelves of America, it could be found in a traditional log shape. We were excited about the versatility of fresh chèvre and shared options for its use including sliced medallions and crumbles. Today, Americans love the convenience offered by fresh, goat cheese crumbles.
At Vermont Creamery, we want to make sure everyone's first goat cheese experience is a positive one. But we know that isn't always the case. Not all fresh goat cheese and goat cheese crumbles are passing the taste test. Since so many first encounter this great cheese in its crumbled form, we've decided we need to do "what it takes" to meet those taste buds where they are and win them over. Why not revolutionize the crumble category (grocery store jargon for all the different kinds of crumbled cheeses)? Well get ready, we've got something to shake things up. We're excited to introduce Fresh Goat Cheese Crumbles in four delicious flavors: Classic Chèvre, Apricot & Thyme, Cranberry & Thyme, and Tomato & Basil!
Who wouldn't want their crumbles to be made with excellent, fresh chèvre, high quality ingredients, no preservatives, and no added powders to keep the cheese pieces small and identical?
And what is that powdery stuff anyways? Truth be told, these powders — called anti-caking agents — are often wood cellulose. While not harmful, it does change the texture of the cheese and imparts a "dry-mouth" feel to the cheese. And it's not necessary. We've said no to cellulose and embraced the uniqueness of each crumble. Our crumbling happens by hand not machine — so you can expect each crumble to be unique - much like the snowflakes currently falling in Vermont.
Inspired by the chance to make a difference, we decided to give crumbles a try. We added apricots and thyme to the crumbles which are great on salads, of course, but what else? We topped cooked barley and lentils with them. We threw a handful into scone batter and WOW! Bits of melting chèvre with bursts of flavor from dried apricots and herbal accents. I don't think I'll ever make a plain scone again.
As summer stormed in, we were inspired by the bounty of the harvest. Mixing in sun-dried tomatoes and basil we had the perfect topping for pasta. I packed them into a grilled Panini with prosciutto and some of our Cultured Butter. Now THAT was a meal.
Of course, New Englanders love cranberries and we couldn't pass up this perennial salad topping in our quest for deliciousness. Cranberry & Tarragon Crumbles are not only perfect for spinach and walnut salads. They’re also great stuffed into pan-seared chicken breasts — the melting chèvre peeked from these delicious treats. Deglazing the pan with some white wine (and stirring in some Crème Fraîche) left us with a savory, creamery sauce.
Needless to say, we're so excited to share these crumbles with you. We're inspired everyday by their versatility and morning conversations in the office often begin with "Guess what I did with the crumbles last night?!"
So for all of you chèvre log loyalists, know that artisan, hand crumbled chèvre is waiting for you in the crumble section — and the chèvre tastes as good as ever! For all of you who aspire to enjoy goat cheese but haven't found the right crumble, give ours a try. Be warned that ours is addictive and can lead to even more goat cheese consumption! Before you know it, you may find a chèvre log in your refrigerator and a Bonne Bouche on your cheese board!
Learn more about our Crumbled Goat Cheese.