☰ menu   

All Chèvre Cheese Plate

Update, Aug. 22, 2022: Cheesemongers of Santa Fe closed in March 2020, and Lilith Spencer is now on staff at Jasper Hill Farm.

Every spring, cheese lovers anticipate the arrival of fluffy, delicate fresh goat cheese that kidding season brings. But chèvre is just the beginning—goat’s milk can produce some of the most flavorful wedges at any age. To curate a cheese plate showcasing its breadth of flavors and textures, we turned to New Mexico cheesemonger Lilith Spencer of Cheesemongers of Santa Fe, one of the only cut-to-order shops in the entire state.

“I love how much goat cheese changes,” they say. “A soft goat cheese starts out bright and tangy, but becomes nuttier and more savory as it ages. Harder goat cheeses lose almost all acidity and become milky, toasty, and caramel-sweet, like dulce de leche.” Spencer has amassed a cult following on Instagram (find them @cheesemongrrl) thanks to their stunning symmetrical platters, but they’re quick to note that more than just imagery goes into an A+ cheese plate. They believe that the key is “thoughtful pairings—things that are seasonally appropriate and that cover a range of flavors and textures.”

  • Origin: Logsden, Oregon
  • Milk: Pasteurized goat’s milk

Etienne Dupont Cidre de Givre Ice Cider

Smoky and maple-sweet with hints of vanilla, this pairing reminds Spencer of “a big New England breakfast.” The tangy, toasty finish prevents it from becoming cloying.

  • Origin: Devon, England
  • Milk: Pasteurized goat’s milk

Lone Star Bee Company Lucky Lime and Sea Salt Honey

With a gentle tang and warm, yeasty undertones, Ticklemore evokes a buttermilk biscuit for Spencer. Drizzle lime-and-sea-salt honey over a wedge, and the cheese “magically transforms into key lime pie.”

  • Origin: Brabant, Holland
  • Milk: Pasteurized goat’s milk

Potlicker Kitchen Burgundy Anise Wine Jelly

Got a goat cheese hater in your circle? Serve them this candy-like goat’s milk gouda from Holland and they just might change their mind. Potlicker’s anise-laced red wine jelly marries well with the cheese’s brighter notes, says Spencer, and the bittersweet licorice kick highlights Brabander’s caramel flavors.

  • Origin: Ardennes, Belgium
  • Milk: Raw goat’s milk

Charlito’s Cocina Chorizo Seco

A goat’s milk washed rind might sound like too much flavor for some, but this meaty-yet-sweet wedge finds umami paradise when paired with a garlicky chorizo. “The bold flavors of the sausage help soften the aromatic pungency of Cabricharme and amplify its rounder, more savory notes,” Spencer says.

  • Origin: Île de France, France
  • Milk: Pasteurized goat’s milk

La Maison du Piment Sweet Basque Cherry Confit

Goat’s milk blues are rare, and wheels that don’t age into dry spiciness are even rarer—but Persillé de Rambouillet is mellow and super creamy (and yes, blue). Balance the milky, earthy wedge with sweet, port-like cherry confit, suggests Spencer.

Photo Credit Nina Gallant
Styling by Chantal Lambeth

Rebecca Haley-Park

Rebecca Haley-Park is culture's former editor and resident stinky cheese cheerleader. A native New Englander, she holds a BFA in creative writing from University of Maine at Farmington.

Leave a Reply