Bittersweet Plantation Dairy is owned by renowned chef and restaurateur John Folse, and is located 20 miles east of Baton Rouge in Gonzales, Louisiana.
Creating artisanal cheese in the hot and humid Louisiana bayous can be quite a challenge, but John Folse and his cheesemaker, Michael Levy, create a variety of soft ripened cheeses that reflect local tradition and tastes.
Matt Summers is the dairy manager who oversees two full-time Bulgarian cheesemakers, Dimcho and Petrana Dimov, who are married and have 30 years of cheesemaking experience in Bulgaria. In collaboration with John Folse and Matt, they have been making the cheeses for the Bittersweet Cajun & Creole line and also some of their favorites from Bulgaria- Kashkaval and Feta.
Milk for cow's milk cheese production at Bittersweet comes from a milk processor, while the goat's milk is sourced from a small dairy a few hours away.
Feliciana Nevat is a soft ripened cow's and goat's milk cheese that is based on the Catalonian Nevat from Spain. The name Nevat is derived from the Catalan word for snow, and refers to the powdery rind and peaked shape of the cheese. Bittersweet Plantation Dairy chose the adjunct "Feliciana" to their version (a Spanish word for 'Joyous Land") in order to differentiate it from the Spanish original.
Feliciana Nevat has a fairly dense yet moist texture that, with maturity, tends to break down and become runny just under the rind.
The ratio of volume-to-surface area of this cheese means that it's aged for longer than most mold ripened cheeses in order to develop the necessary depth of flavor.
Flavors are rich and tangy with hints of hay and grass.