garroxta cheeseIt is pronounced ga-ROH-cha. It is a region of Catalonia in Spain with 40 extinct volcanoes. It is also a goat's milk cheese that went nearly extinct by the 1980's but some young artisan cheese makers revived it. The rind looks like an old pair of dirty salt stained medium gray suede shoes. It is coated with mold. Around the edge the paste looks like the inside of a cow horn but it gets more creamy ivory looking as you move in. It has a creamy, grainy texture. You can roll a small bit of it into a ball with your fingers but it falls apart quickly. It smells funky, cheesy, slightly floral, a little barny and goaty, with a faint wood note. The flavor has a slight tartness, some nuttiness, hints of citrus, traces of vegetal, a dash of goaty funk, and a light fruit note. There is a balancing butteriness and creaminess in the flavor. Garrotxa is definitely world class and worth repeating. A bottle of cider, a wedge of Garrotxa, and a fresh baguette would go nicely on a warm afternoon by a lake.

I am drinking an Isategi Basque cider with the cheese and it pairs magnificently. The cider is bone dry tart which highlights the cheese's creamy and nutty flavors. The cider also has it own funkiness which goes very nicely with the funkiness of the cheese. I am liking the pairing of funk with funk so much that I am looking forward to trying this cheese with some of the beers by Crooked Stave, Wild Mind or the Bruery Terreux. I would also like to try Garrotxa with a rich mead like Hidden Legend Peach Mead or a Sake. Any place with a decent cider selection should have Isategi. If not, tell them to stock it. I bought both the cider and the cheese at 44 France Wines and Spirits. You can also buy the cheese Online at Amazon.


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