Fans of Brin d'Amour and Fleur de Maquis need not look to Corsica for fluffy, herb-rubbed bloomy rinds. This domestic twist on the Mediterranean classic hails from Indiana, on the farm of one of America's most iconic lady goat cheese makers.
Judy Schad has been making cheese since 1976, when she and her family moved from the suburbs to a hill farm in southern Indiana. After running the title and discovering the farm had belonged to Judy's husband's great, great grandfather in the 1870s, the new land felt like home.
In 1988, after several years of acquiring goats and making goat cheeses for family and friends, the family opened a commercial dairy. By 2012, after 36 years of breeding and milking at Capriole, they decided to sell their herd. With so many goats and limited space the family wanted to focus exclusively on cheesemaking. Now their milk is produced by Tuckhill Farm, and Schad produces many different goat's milk cheeses across a wide spectrum of styles.
The cheese is named after Hungarian intern, Julianna Sedli, who took an experimental variation of an Old Kentucky Tomme and turned it into something new. During production the milk is coagulated and the curd is cut, cooked, washed (to reduce some of the acidity), and then carefully ladled into large molds. Cheeses are flipped (but are not pressed) over several hours. Afterwards, the young Juliannas are unmolded and placed in a brine solution for about eight hours, then removed to a drying area for two days before being placed in the aging room. The cheeses develop a surface of white, flossy Penicilium candidum mold. Once the surface mold is developed, the herbs are applied, wrapped in paper, and stored in boxes to finish aging.
Flavors are buttery, smooth and nutty with a mushroomy-tasting natural rind of herbs, similar to Brin d'Amour. The overtones of the herbs are an integral part of this cheese, and definitely add another dimension and layer of flavor.
Rosés and Gruner Vetliners pair well with Julianna, as do Virtue Cider's Maple Mitten and Percheron. Serve with pickled watermelon or rhubarb, and olives.