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Best Cheeses 2019: Goat’s Milk Cheese



BIJOU

ERMONT CREAMERY

WEBSTERVILLE, VT.

A jewel of a cheese, this hand-formed little darling features a wrinkly Geotrichum rind around a fudge-like button of pasteurized goat’s milk, ripened 30 days. Hints of fresh flowers and hazelnuts shine through the goaty tang, flavors best accompanied by tart cherries or apricots.


LILLE ASKE

BO JENSEN DAIRY

JÆREN, NORWAY

This raw milk, ash-rolled goat’s cheese follows French cheesemaking traditions originating in the Loire Valley. A coating of vegetable ash protects the chèvre from unwanted bacteria, resulting in a pure, clean paste with a milky, naturally sweet flavor. Lille Aske is a well-decorated cheese, winning prizes at international competitions year after year. A pastry chef before he turned to cheesemaking, producer Bo Jensen is certainly helping to put southwestern Norway on the radar of cheese enthusiasts worldwide.


TRUFFLE TREMOR

CYPRESS GROVE

ARCATA , CALIF.

Velvety and soft-ripened from the outside in, Truffle Tremor is an elegantly rich goat’s milk cheese with a studding of earthy black truffles. As the wheels continue to mature from bright acidity with dense floral notes to gooey with intense mushroom notes, it’s ideal for a range of wine pairings, from young Gewürztraminer to Pinot Noir at its most bold.


CHEVOO: FENNEL POLLEN & ORANGE

CHEVOO

HEALDSBURG, CALIF 

Evoking the sweet aromatic freshness of a Sicilian coastline, the newest addition to CHEVOO’s variety of silky goat cheeses is hand-blended with fresh fennel and locally harvested lavender and then marinated in an orange-infused extra virgin olive oil blend.

+ PAIR IT: Balanced and bright, this creamy chèvre stands out when slathered on bruschetta with Castelvetrano olives or topped on a salad with seafood or grilled chicken.


CLASSIC BLUE LOG

WESTFIELD FARM

HUBBARDSTON, MASS.

This dense, snowy log of tangy goat’s milk cheese is cloaked in a dusky mantle of Penicillium roqueforti. Since the paste is not pierced, the Roquefort mold stops at the rind, delivering a distinct blue bite to this otherwise classic log. It makes a striking centerpiece for a cheeseboard, cut into medallions or served whole-log.


KILEMBE

BELNORI BOUTIQUE CHEESERY

BAPSFONTEIN, GAUTENG

PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA

A childhood taste memory was the inspiration for Kilembe cheese, created in 2015 by Rina Belcher and husband Norman on their smallholding in the rich farmlands between Johannesburg and Pretoria. The truckle-shaped, Caprino-style cheese is produced daily from mid-August to mid-May using the milk of Belcher’s 250 Saanen does, then matured on wooden shelves for at least six months. The ivory paste has notes of fresh butter, chestnuts, and toasted bread, with vegetal undertones in spring when the goats graze on native African lovegrass.

+ PAIR IT: Kilembe’s slightly crumbly texture makes it perfect for shaving over carpaccio and mixed-leaf salads.


MONT IDYLL

IDYLL FARMS

NORTHPORT, MI

The textural delights of this Valençay-inspired offering include a velvety, ash-coated rind and a fluffy, lactic interior. With age, the paste becomes dense and develops a more pronounced, spicy flavor. Bonus: Mont Idyll is made on a certified-humane dairy farm on the shores of Lake Michigan, where the goats graze on a rotational pasture.


BLOOMSDALE

BAETJE FARMS

BLOOMSDALE, MO

Farmstead goat’s milk from Missouri’s fertile, rolling Fourche a du Clos Valley is handcrafted into a delicate, pine ash-coated riff on Valençay and aged for 14 to 16 days. Redolent of mushrooms with a pleasing salty finish and smooth, light paste, the interior intensifies with age, developing a molten texture and notes of blue cheese.


SMOKEY MOUNTAIN ROAD

GOAT LADY DAIRY

CLIMAX, N. C

The Smoky Mountains surrounding Goat Lady Dairy lend their name to the Smokey Mountain Round. Made from fresh goat’s milk, these small rounds (available in various sizes) are formed by hand and then lightly smoked with applewood. The resulting chèvre is creamy, savory, and layered with mild bacon flavor from smoking.


SPRUCE

SAGE FARM GOAT DAIRY

STOWE, VT.

Digging into a bark-wrapped wheel of Spruce is like taking a walk in the woods, with 100% more cheese. Supple, creamy, and bloomy, with a distinct zip imparted by the tannins from spruce bark harvested on Sage Farm.

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