â€œI find among writers that the milk of the goat is next in estimation to that of women, for that it helpeth the stomach.â€
~ William Harrison, English Clergyman (1534-1593)
Max McCalman, our Dean of Curriculum, has engaged me in many a conversation on just this subject, that one reason cheese is such a comfort food may be because it is most like our first source of nourishment (both physical and emotional) our motherâ€™s milk.
Goatâ€™s milk is one of the easiest forms of dairy to digest (owing to the smaller fat globules then are found in cowâ€™s milk) and its smooth, soft, creamy texture provides delicious, nutritious sustenance. Before starting at Artisanal I was a timid sampler of goat cheese, rarely venturing further then a log rolled in herbs from the local green market. A little over a year later, I have enjoyed dozens of varieties from our caves and have been surprised and delighted by the vast array taste, shape and texture.
In the winter months the firmer, aged versions of goat cheese like Old Kentucky Tomme and Ibores were perfect companions for heavy sweet white wines and dark heady reds. But now comes the best time for consuming fresh goat cheese, especially now, spring is arriving and the kids are causing the utters to fill with particularly rich delicious milk full of vitamins A and D.
The first goat cheese I fell for (which I recommend for beginners) was Purple Haze. Creamy, tangy, subtly herbaceous, Purple Haze is a sure fire way to hook people in and quickly get them addicted to goatâ€™s milk (a drizzle of honey added a whole other dimension). My latest obsession, which I tried for the first time last night and immediately, took home to enjoy at my leisure, is Garrotxa (gah-ROTCH-ah). Surreally smooth and light, like a solid form of yogurt but less tangy, the Garrotxa enhanced the light bubbles in the glass of Cava I was enjoying and reminded me that the days are getting longer and warmer and another season of great cheeses is on itâ€™s way.
“G stands for goat and also for genius . . .”
~ Kenneth Rexroth, American Poet (1905 â€“ 1982)
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