Kiwi Meets Goat Cheese
This week, I’m returning to an old favorite. Sea Smoke was one of the first Pennsylvania cheeses I fell hard for when I moved to Philadelphia seven years ago. Discovering it was a sign to me that the regional cheese scene was going to get interesting. No other cheese from the area had a streak of ash and a delicate bloomy rind quite like this. And the tender crumb, oh the tender crumb.
Today, this cheese is made by Will and Lynn Reid of Chester County, the second owners of Amazing Acres Goat Dairy, but the original inventor was Debbie Mikulak, who has named this cheese after the fog along the Maine coast. Debbie has since become a Mainerd, but I always think of her tall figure and gentle demeanor when I see this little tuffet.
For a recent snack, I decided to play off the tart and herbaceous notes in this cheese with a jar of kiwi basil jam I picked up from Green Meadow Preserves at the Headhouse Square Farmers’ Market. The combination was stunning, which got me thinking about how lovely kiwi is as a pairing for young goat cheese.
Try serving slices of ripe kiwi alongside fresh chevre or a soft-ripened goat cheese like this one. You might even macerate the fruit with some finely chopped basil and use it to top bruschetta schmeared with goat cheese. Like a ripe tomato, the kiwi has plenty of acidity, which offsets the tang inherent in chevre. It’s a perfect foil.