Goat cheese is also called chèvre. French for "goat," chèvre is a pure white goat's milk cheese with a distinctively tart flavor. Some of the better known chèvres include banon, Bûcheron and Montrachet. "Pur chèvre" on the label ensures that the cheese is made entirely from goat's milk; mi-chèvre means that it's composed of at least 50 percent goat's milk, with the remainder typically cow's milk. The plural is chèvres, which originally referred to all French goat cheeses but is now widely used to refer to all goat cheeses, wherever their origin. Chèvres can range in texture from moist and creamy to dry and semifirm. They come in a variety of shapes including cylinders, discs, cones and pyramids, and are often coated in edible ash or leaves, herbs or pepper. Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Chèvre that is over the hill takes on a sour taste and should be discarded.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.