Monday, February 21, 2011

Belin Croustilles Fromage de Chevre (aka Goat-Cheese Cheetos)

Every now and then when wading overseas amidst the mundane everyday things of another culture we come across some artifact which happens to perfectly capture the zeitgeist in some shockingly provocative way.  And what could more perfectly capture the encroachment of globalization on the traditional-yet-innovative French than Goat-Cheese flavored Cheetos?  The concept alone is gold, and the fact that they actually taste like goat cheese just makes it better!

Mind you, these are not of course made by Frito-Lay, but they are the same material and same shape, if not of course the same flavor, and they do have a slightly different, less dense consistency.  The product line appears to be called ‘Croustille’, a word dervied from croustillant (KROO-STEEY-AHN) which gets translated as 'crusty', but the term captures a concept of crunchy-on-the-outsides-and-tender-on-the-inside-dness that has no equal in the English language as far as I know.  Being like Cheetos, of course, the insides are not particularly soft, but at least the title is evocative.

Tastes just like goat.  But I mean that
in a good way.
The texture, as I noted, is not quite as dense and oily as Cheetos, but still superior to certain other airy Cheeto-like products I have had, but anyway if you’re trying these out, you’re really looking for flavor not texture.  And the flavor, I have to say is spot on, and uncannily like goat cheese.  Now, how you feel about that will depend on your relationship with goat cheese, and whether you feel you can tolerate it anywhere but in its traditional scraped-on-bread setting.  Personally, I endorse this heartily; it aptly mixes the mild salty flavors of goat cheese along with the subtly acrid after taste- and it must be emphasized that the after taste is kept well under control and shouldn’t offend anyone.  Though I was initially a little wierded-out by Goat-cheese corn puffs, I quickly grew to enjoy them without even a moment’s cognitive dissonance, and overall I found them a delightful evolution of an old favorite.
This + Cheetos = awesome.  As
long as you like goat cheese...

Stars: 3/4
Spiciness Rating : none

Pros :
- Delightfully evocative goat cheese flavor
- Classic Cheeto-like texture still a pleasure for the tongue
- So stereotypically French, it’s practically a parody of globalization!

Cons:
- Must like, or at least tolerate, goat cheese

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