Purple Haze is what results when a classic fluffy Califonia chèvre gets an ultra-creative flavor boost. The little round from Cypress Grove is dusted with a mix of lavender and wild-harvested fennel pollen—the perfect summery snack.
Cypress Grove is located in foggy Humboldt County, in the temperate northwest coastal region of California. Its origins date back to the 1970’s, when founder Mary Keehn became interested in goats while searching for a healthy source of milk for her young daughters. Starting with two animals, she quickly developed an interest in breeding Alpine goats. Within a few years, her herd increased; finding herself with excess milk, Keehn began experimenting with cheesemaking, founding Cypress Grove in 1983.
Keehn was a pioneer. At that time, commercial goat cheese production was virtually unheard of in the US. As the company grew, Keehn decided to sell her animals to a number of local farms and buy back the milk. Today, each dairy still operates under an incentive program, ensuring consistent high quality.
As the company expanded, Keehn was approached with many acquisition offers. However none of the proposals seemed an appropriate fit until 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 keeping the company headquarters in Humboldt County as well as maintaining Cypress Grove’s long-standing commitments with the community, environment and milk suppliers.
For production of Purple Haze, milk is pasteurized in a vat where cultures and coagulants are added. The mixture is moved to a curd press where the whey is drained. The curd is then mixed with salt and formed into disks. Lavender and wild fennel pollen are added by hand. The disks of Purple Haze are then vacuum sealed, labeled and sent directly to market without aging.
Subtly herbaceous and floral, this fresh chèvre has just enough added flavor to intermingle with its citrusy tang.
For the ultimate pairing, try Purple Haze with bacon-wrapped dates; the cheese adds nuanced flavor, while its light, fluffy texture offers a reprieve from the richness of both the fruit and candied pork. We also love this fluffy chèvre alongside finocchiona or another Italian salami.