Cypress Grove Chevre is located in Humboldt County in the temperate Pacific Northwest coastal region of California. The origins of the business began during the 1970’s when the company’s founder, Mary Keehn, became interested in Alpine dairy goats while searching for a healthy source of milk for her young daughters. This resulted in the acquisition of two goats and from this small start, she quickly developed a passionate interest in breeding high quality Alpine goats. Within a few years, the size of Mary’s herd increased significantly and, finding herself with excess goat milk, she started experimenting with cheesemaking. By 1983 and with the beginnings of a regular customer base, she officially founded Cypress Grove Chevre. At the time, commercial goat cheese production was virtually unheard of in the US and Mary, along with a handful of other goat cheesemakers, was one of the first to spearhead the movement. As Cypress Grove grew, the challenges of managing the goats in addition to the cheesemaking became insurmountable. Therefore, the decision was made to sell the goats to a number of local farms with the arrangement to buy back the milk. Each dairy still operates under an incentive program, ensuring that consistently high quality milk is supplied back to Cypress Grove for cheesemaking. This arrangement allowed Mary to fully focus on the cheesemaking and to take the company forward. Until the early 1990’s Cypress Grove focused on fresher styles of goat’s milk cheeses. However, the successful creation of Humboldt Fog in 1992, helped pave the way for several other American Originals. As the company grew and expanded, Mary was approached with many acquisition offers. However, none of the proposals seemed an appropriate fit until August 2010 when she received a proposal from Emmi, a Swiss company, majority-owned by a cooperative of small farmers and dairy operators. Emmi committed to keep the company’s employees and headquarters in Humboldt County as well as maintaining Cypress Grove’s long-standing commitments with the community, environment and milk suppliers. Bermuda Triangle was created in 1997 specifically with chefs in mind, since its triangular log format makes it ideal for slicing and provides interesting presentation on a cheese plate. For production of Bermuda Triangle, milk is pasteurized in a vat where cultures and coagulants are added and held for the acid ripening process. The mixture is then moved to a curd press where the whey is drained. The remaining curd is mixed with salt, hand-packed into cheese forms, ashed, and then sprayed with mold cultures. The cheeses spend eight days during primary ripening where they are turned daily after which they are “cold stabilized” for several more days before being wrapped and sent to market.
When young, the interior paste of the cheese is chalky-white in color and has a smooth, dense and slightly crumbly texture. With age, the paste starts to break down under the rind, becoming softer, slightly translucent and ultimately runny.
Flavors of Bermuda Triangle are earthy and piquant. When young, the cheese is clean, bright and peppery due to the high rind-to-paste ratio. As it matures, flavors intensify and and can become quite assertive.