Located in West Cornwall, Vermont, Twig Farm is a 30-acre goat farm and cheese producer established in 2005 by the husband and wife duo of Michael Lee and Emily Sunderman. Having apprenticed at Peaked Mountain Farm in Townsend, Vermont, Michael manages the herd of about 35 milking does, made up mostly of Alpine with a few Nubian and Saanens mixed in, and produces and ages the cheese all by hand. Emily manages the business and marketing for Twig Farm while simultaneously working as an analyst for a publishing firm. Michael and Emily intentionally keep their business small, with the focus on the cheesemaking process and a respect for their animals. All the goats on Twig Farm are pasture fed and are allowed to roam on the property both day and night. They feed on buckthorn, goldenrod, and dandelion among other species, which produces milk that has a distinct herbaceous quality. Old Goat is a twist on Twig Farm’s Goat Tomme. It is much larger than the original cheese, which weighs about 2 lbs versus the 5 to 10 lbs of Old Goat. Also, this cheese is aged for a longer period of time, 10 to 12 months versus around 3 for the Tomme. The differences in size and aging ensure that Old Goat has a character all its own. It is a firm cheese with an ivory colored paste and a light brown rind covered in a layer of white molds.
The interior of the cheese has a smooth texture that can be slightly crumbly or flaky. Its flavor is of sweet, nutty caramel with a bit of salt. Old Goat is only available in limited quantities at local Middlebury Farmer’s Market. At times, the cheesemakers will turn some wheels into a subtly blue cheese called Blue Goats.
This cheese is best paired with a crisp white wine or a dry hard cider. Serve Old Goat with apples and/or goat milk caramel for a fun twist.