Life On The Wire: Floats Our Goat
Life On The Wire consists of dispatches from our ever resourceful "curdologist" and cheese wiz, Emilie.
Its that time of week again, we're living on the wire and writing about it; with the arrival of spring (finally!) temps and the bombardment of adorable newborn kids on our social media, we can't help but celebrate the first soft goat cheeses of the year.
So often we hear “oh, I don't like goat cheese, do you have something else?” and we always feel a bit sad at that statement, goat cheeses are some of our favorites. The main reason we hear people don't like goat cheese is that they taste “goaty/like wet goats/gamey” or merely a grimace. Why does goat milk taste goaty? The fat globule in goat's milk is much smaller than in cow's milk, that's the main reason goat cheese can taste goaty; most people grow up drinking cow milk and that is the familiar flavor and when they get that first taste of goat.. whew. In actuality goat milk has 4.14g of fat per 100g of fluid milk where cow's milk has 3.25g per 100g of fluid milk; goat milk also has more protein, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium than cow's milk.
So why is cow milk the go-to milk? Volume. The average dairy cow can produce up to 4 gallons of milk a day whereas a goat can only produce 1-2 liters of milk (depending on the breed) and when the farmer is paid for milk by the pound (seriously, dairy farmers are paid for the pounds of milk produced not volume) the bovines beat out the caprines.
But we'e getting off track...
We were thrilled last week with the return of Sage Farm Goat Dairy's cheeses, handmade in Stowe, VT; their Fresh Chevre, Sterling, and Snowball. Molly worked as a chef around the country before settling down in Stowe with her family, across the milking barn from her sister Katie because it was their dream to have a working farm. Every week we try and get as many of Sage's cheeses as possible, we wait of the availability list and call dibs and cross our fingers that we'll get everything we ordered. Fresh Chevre, bright and clean with a fluffy but creamy texture; Sterling, an ashed pyramid styled after the French Valençay, oozier with a hint of mushrooms and earth; Snowball, a little compact ball of citrusy crumbly delight
And this week we started welcoming back cheese from Lazy Lady Farm, a wind and solar powered cornerstone of Vermont goat cheeses. Laini fell in love with the idea of farming on a vacation in college, and settled on 35 acres in Westfield in '86 and started making cheese in '93 with the help of a generator to power the pasteurizer. With a staggering array of cheese in her recipe book we never quite know what will be coming every week, this week we snagged some La Petite Tomme, a shallow disc of a bloomy rinded goat cheese that is veggital (think salad greens) with notes of white button mushrooms and a runny texture. La Petite Tomme was also just named one of the most important cheeses in America by Bon Appétit Magazine this week.
With the warmer weather we're decamping out of the kitchen and living room to the backyard (ok it's actually a stoop, jeez) or down to the Esplanade with a jar of Chevoo Marinated Goat Cheese, either the Dill Pollen and Garlic or the Tupelo Honey and Lime. A little wine, a loaf of fresh bread and you are set for a simple and delicious no-fuss meal. If you want to put more effort into a meal than we tend to, try stuffing as chicken breast with the Honey&Lime and grilling it (pair it with tequila or mezcal); put the Dill&Garlic on homemade pizza or on grilled/roasted veggies. We're huge fans of the schmear it on bread though, and then once the cheese is gone we've got a great flavored oil for dipping or drizzling.
Another brilliant arrival, from Europe, Robiola Foglia di Porro and Chabichou du Poitou landed in the case this week. Robiola Foglia di Porro is a goat milk robiola from Piedmont that is wrapped in leeks as it ages which gives a distinct onion aroma and flavor; it is amazing on a steak or fire-roasted potatoes.
Chabichou du Poitou is a tongue twister to pronounce (but once you get it, its fun as hell to say) but delicious to nosh on; firm and milky with a hint of yeast, its also adorably wrinkly..
So yeah, the bottom line of this blog post is this: goat cheeses are awesome and baby goats are adorable.
And of you need another reason to go on an adventure with goat cheese; goat cheese loves to party with Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé and it is finally spring...