Though made from goat’s milk, Chevre Noir is not like other chevres: it’s actually more of a cheddar.
The cheese is made in rectangular bricks. Though coated in two layers of black wax, the cheese is bone-china white inside, with a hard, crumbly, smooth texture that is toothsome, and develops some minute, highly-flavoured lactose nodules high in flavour.
It is made from milk obtained from goats from July through to December, supplied by a cooperative of about 20 producers in the centre of Québec, Canada.
There are two versions of Chevre Noir, one using “pasteurized milk” and the other unpasteurized. The “pasteurized” version isn’t really pasteurized, though: the milk is “thermalized” — heated at 145 F (63 C) for 30 minutes — which doesn’t technically qualify as pasteurization.
To make Chevre Noir from either milk, the milk is warmed, then a starter culture is added, then vegetarian rennet to curdle it and calcium chloride to help give a firmer curd to work with.
The version of the cheese made from unthermalized milk is aged a minimum of 6 months, up to 12 months. These versions have a moister crumb and a milder flavour, but have more of a goat taste to them.
The version made from thermalized milk is aged 1 to 2 years (some independent cheese affineurs age the cheese for 3 years.) Longer-aged Chevre Noir become granular, making a good grating cheese.
The cheese is sold either in its 2 pound (900 g) bricks, or in slices.
Chevre Noir is made by the Fromagerie Tournevent in Chesterville, Québec.
To serve and use Chevre Noir store as you would cheddar.
The thermalized and unpasteurized versions of Chevre Noir both have a fat content of 28%.
Chevre Noir was developed in 1988 by a Louise Lefebvre, who had started working at Tournevent in 1984. It was introduced to the market in 1989.