When Larry Hedrich’s grandparents settled on a Wisconsin farm in the early 1900s, they named the land “Chandoka” after their children: Charmaine, Ann, Donna and Kathy. Larry and his wife Clara moved back to that land in 2012 to expand the cheesemaking business they’d built along with four of their children who work at LaClare farms today.
Evalon, a raw goat's milk wheel named after Larry's grandmother, is one of the most famous products of the Hedrichs’ labor. Aged between 70 and 150 days, the cooked, pressed cheese was developed when the Hedrichs first decided to make goat’s milk cheese, consulting with cheesemongers and retailers to settle on a style. Two years of developing, sampling, and tweaking their recipe paid off: Evalon continues to win awards.
The does at LaClare have room to exercise and graze on pasture, and are fed whole grains and other foods that goats love. They graze on lush, green fields, and their milk gives Evalon its sweet, supple flavor. “Every piece of our operation plays into the success of this cheese,” says Katie Hedrich, Larry and Clara's daughter and current head cheesemaker.
Texture is semifirm and dense. Flavors are fruity, nutty and earthy with a lingering, balanced finish.
Evalon shines with fruit-forward, semi-dry sparkling wine (hints of earth in Australian Shiraz play nicely with goat’s milk) or intensely flavored grapes. Try pairing the cheese's fenugreek or cumin-studded varieties with charcuterie or pickled vegetables.