Goat Cheese wrapped in Hoja Santa Leaves - Dallas, Texas
Dallas cheesemaker Paula Lambert wraps fresh goat cheese in hoja santa leaves. Hoja Santa grows wild in both Texas and Mexico, and is often used in regional cooking. The leaf imparts subtle meony, herbaceous flavors to the cheese.
Produced in Dallas, Texas, Hoja Santa reflects its origins. Each young goat's milk round is wrapped in a velvety, heart-shaped leaf from the local (and eponymous) Hoja Santa plant (piper auritum). The Hoja Santa leaf imparts subtle tones of sassafras, anise, mint, black pepper to this soft, fresh chèvre. Here in the Artisanal Cheese Caves, we age the cheese for much longer than most fresh goat cheeses. Then we dry the wet Hoja Santas, turn them over and wait for a few spots of perfectly edible mold to grow on the rind. This guarantees that the leaf has lost its chewiness and has infused the white paste with a light grassy note. Pair Hoja Santa with Sauvignon Blanc or any light red with anise and peppery notes. Try it with Pernod, an aperitif; a must! Piece weighs about 5 oz.