Humboldt Fog and I first made each other’s acquaintance sometime in 2005, I believe. I think it was at Colleen’s house during one of our TV-watching parties. (“The Apprentice” season premiere? Help me out, C.) We hit it off right away, and soon we were seeing each other regularly. In fact, if you sent my husband to a cheese shop to have him pick out a cheese for me, this is one he’d likely choose because he’s heard me talk about it so much.

One of my favorites.

One of my favorites.

Humboldt Fog is part of the California-based Cypress Grove family of fine goat-milk cheeses, and it’s distinguished by the layer of vegetable ash (edible, of course) in the middle. It’s soft and surface-ripened and oh-so-good. The creamy, crumbly cheese coats the mouth nicely, but the flavor isn’t so strong that you’ll need to cleanse your palate after a few bites. On the contrary – it’s really hard to stop eating it once you’ve started!

I guess this is what Humboldt Fog on crackers would look like to an ant.

I guess this is what Humboldt Fog on crackers would look like to an ant.

I often spread room-temperature Humboldt Fog on Carr’s whole wheat crackers, and Cypress Grove recommends serving it with pears and honey and a glass of crisp white wine (such as a Chenin Blanc or Pinot Grigio), on top of a spinach salad or with a mushroomy dish. But I also like to just stand at the counter and cut myself little slabs to eat solo. Why should Humboldt Fog share its glory with another food? It easily shines on its own.

The Cypress Grove Web site is also one of the best cheesemaker sites I’ve seen yet, with a day-by-day guide on the cheesemaking process, nutritional information and fun cheese trivia. For example, did you know that Americans, on average, eat more than a half-pound of cheese each week? I think I’m above-average in that category.

You can order Cypress Grove cheeses directly from the Web site or at most fine cheese shops and well-stocked grocery-store cheese counters.

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