Kennebec Highlands Caerphilly
Kennebec Cheesery is run by mother-daughter team Jean Koons and Linnea Koons Morrison. Originally from New Zealand, both Jean and Linnea were raised on farms. They moved to the U.S. about 15 years ago, settling into a property in Maine that has belonged to Jean’s husband’s family for several generations. Now they produce small batches of cheese each day, using milk from their herd of approximately 28 goats, sometimes also using organic Jersey milk from a neighbor’s farm.
Kennebec Highlands Caerphilly is an alpine-style cheese made from goat’s milk. To produce the cheese, the Koons heat treat the milk, cool it down to 86 degrees, add cultures and rennet and let the milk inoculate for 1-1.5 hours. After cutting and stirring the curds, the mixture is reheated to 90 degrees, the whey is poured off and the curds are formed into molds. The freshly formed wheels are flipped and pressed overnight, then soaked in brine for several hours before being coated with cream wax and aged for 4-6 months.
Aromas of fresh cream, cave and grass upfront give way to a very buttery, salty and well-rounded flavor on the palate. Paste is semi-firm and chewy with some small air pockets.
Pair it with a Côtes du Rhône or a white Burgundy. For beer pairings, try a lager or a hefeweizen, such as Rising Tide’s Spinnaker.