"I don't like goat cheese—but I love this!" We hear this time and again. As best we can figure, this must be due to the way we raise our goats, which is truly unique. Our goats are pasture-raised, not confined to barns. They are moved to fresh pasture every few days. We built portable sheds on skids, which we pull with the tractor, following the girls wherever they go. Then, as our herd grew, we started using school buses as portable shelters—truly a "turn-key solution!" Goats love to "browse" on vines, pine branches, the tasty things you find at the edge of the woods. So we let them go there. It makes us smile looking at their glee each time we move them.
We make our cheese the same way, through careful observation and taste—isn't it all about taste in the end? We make our fresh, ripened and aged chevres by hand, right here, using only the milk of our own herd. That milk is entirely free of antibiotics and added hormones. We use a microbial rennet, so our cheeses are vegetarian-friendly. We produce a variety of cheeses, many in the French "bloomy rind" surface-ripened style. Surface ripened cheeses are always paper wrapped so that they can breathe and develop, and should not be wrapped in plastic.
One friend called it "mouth clouds!" Your best friend, the one you want to call every day. Plain chevre is an epiphany when paired with hot-pepper jelly on a cracker. Our signature Bollywood Poire—with sweet and hot curry and a preserves made from our heirloom asian pears and ginger—is sneaky and addictive. We offer a variety of other flavors on a rotating basis. Chevre freezes beautifully—perfect for stocking up! And, tossed with pasta and roasted vegetables, it makes a delicious quick weeknight meal.
Creamy, crumbly feta marinated in olive oil, grapeseed oil, rosemary, crushed garlic, crushed red pepper, cracked black pepper. Our customers call it cheese crack, and eat it by itself, sopping up the marinade with bread—or put it in all kinds of recipes, from eggs to salads to pasta, and more.
Candide (formerly named Crottin)
These are the mildest of our bloomy rinds, with a delicate cream/buttery/mushroomy flavor. They are snowy white inside and out, and weigh in at a dainty 4-5 ounces. Their mild flavor pairs well with many beverages and accompaniments. It's a real team player, making a good wine shine with greatness. They are sublime with a Madeira or sherry. Crottin is a traditional French cheese style that has its roots in the Loire Valley of France. The name "Candide" is a triple play, since it is French, and references the main character of a novel by Voltaire, who is an innocent, as we think the cheese appears. It also references penicillium candidum and geotrichum candidum, the cheesemaking molds that form the bloomy rinds.
Field of Creams
These 4" diameter cheeses are often thought to look like a brie, but they are made differently and have a unique flavor driven by the woodland aromatics in the rind: rosemary, juniper berries, fennel, thyme, tellicherry pepper, and red pepper flakes. These flavors do not overpower the flavor of the cheese, but accentuate those notes in the cheese itself. They mimic the woodland browse that the goats most like to eat. Field of Creams pairs beautifully with charcuterie. It can work with a variety of beverages, but a Gruner Veltliner is a very nice pairing. Field of Creams also has a particularly lovely mouth feel.
These small cheeses are a riff on a French Selles-sur-Cher, another Loire Valley bloomy rind style. They have a layer of flavor-neutral vegetable ash in the rind. Traditionally, the ash was used to protect the paste of the cheese before the rind developed. The ash also plays a role in the maturation of the cheese, since it is chemically a base, and the paste is acidic. These have a more robust and complex flavor than the Candide, with a lingering cream flavor accented by citrus, grass, and a delicate funk. They were featured on the menu at the 2014 James Beard Foundation journalism awards dinner.
These firm cheeses belong to a category called "washed curd." It is also a renneted cheese, as distinct from a lactic cheese, so the cheeses are made all in one day, though their aging ("affinage") takes months. Gouda is a more familiar cheese in the washed curd category. Unlike most goudas, Dirty Girl has a natural rind. Dirty Girl is aged 4+ months, and has a firm paste, and a mild but complex flavor which many folks are surprised to associate with a goat cheese. It is extremely versatile.
These semi-firm cheeses have a more supple paste than the Dirty Girl, with some openness (air spaces) in the paste. They have an attractive interior layer of vegetable ash, which evokes associations with a Morbier, but unlike Morbier, it is not made from two different milkings. Rowdy Gentleman is a "washed rind" style of cheese, meaning it is wiped down periodically during aging, in this case with a mixture of beer and brine, which creates an orange rind with a somewhat funky aroma.
It's a very complex cheese, with three layers of experience: the distinct aroma; the surprisingly mild flavor of the interior paste, and the more pronounced and very appealing flavor of the rind, with an overall meaty, umami, lightly yeasty and lightly tangy flavor, and a long finish. It also reflects what we think of as three layers of terroir (or flavors deriving from a particular location): the goats eat what grows on our farm in our soil; we use a beer produced by a brewer in our area; and the washed rind cultivates an environment for a naturally occurring organism called "brevibacterium linens." BL can be added via a commercial inoculant, but we use what occurs in nature. It's a beautiful and highly distinctive cheese.
Blue Chevrolait (coming in a few months)
This 100% goat milk blue has a dense, fudgy texture and is foil-wrapped, maintaining a moist consistency. It is aged approximately 4 months. While many goat blues can be very astringent, this blue instead evokes butter, caramel, straw, and umami, as a backdrop for the complexity of the blue veining. It pairs beautifully with nuts, and with some of the sweet flavors of the south: figs and honey. It is also terrific with a port. The name Blue Chevrolait is another word play; Kathryn owns a 1955 blue Chevy pickup; the French word for goat is "chevre" and the French word for milk is "lait."
Why do we have meat, if we're a dairy? Well, mammals (such as humans and goats) only give milk when they give birth, and they taper their milk production off as their kids get bigger. Our goats breed every year, as they would in nature, and they typically give birth to 2-3 kids a year. Of course, boys can't join the milking team, nor can all the girls. We sell some of the kids, but we also have a strong and growing market for our delicious, pastured, Animal Welfare Approved goat meat.
Never had goat meat? Just try it! It's leaner than any other meat, including chicken, and it's very mild. Taking home a pound of ground goat and making a burger is an easy way to try it for the first time. Goat meat is also fantastic, easy and elegant in the slow cooker. We typically have ground goat meat, boneless stew meat, bone-in leg, shanks, chops, liver, kidneys/hearts, and soup bones; we can do other cuts by special requests. Our stock is limited, so we may not have all cuts all the time. You can also special order a whole goat ($7/lb. hanging weight plus our processor's packing fee).