Monday, April 01, 2013

About My Love For Our Goat Cheese

By Lindsay

Last week I made goat cheese. Real goat cheese that tasted just like the “fancy” stuff from the grocery store. I won't bore you with a detailed process, but the basics are as follows: heat milk, add culture and rennet, let sit overnight undisturbed, drain in cheesecloth for twelve hours, and voila!

Herbed Goat Cheese.
The whole cheese-making process got me thinking about food, its production, and its relationship to the people who eat it. My evolving opinion of goat cheese is a great example of coming to really know your food.

I believe my earliest experience with goat cheese occurred when I was in college. I was a city girl and lived within walking distance of a quaint French bistro, complete with sidewalk tables and snarky waiters. They had a goat cheese and pear sandwich that I adored. I was instantly taken by the soft creaminess and the tangy aftertaste, so different from the sliced cheese of my youth. I eagerly ordered anything I could find that contained the cheese. It was still a novelty item, only on the menu at expensive or trendy places. I still recall one of my friends thinking I was hilarious for extolling its virtues while on a college class trip to New York City. She, of course, thought it was very odd that I felt so strongly about a cheese. There was plenty of goat cheese to be found in New York, thereby reaffirming it as a “fancy” food.

Skip forward almost a decade. Quickly skip through marrying a country boy, moving to a 5-acre farm, and acquiring lots of animals including goats.

Dora, the Goat Explorer.
Earless. Mother of Ernie & Emily.
Now I see goat cheese as much less cosmopolitan. I know that it starts in the yard, behind the shed on a homemade milking stand. I know the goats that gave me the milk for my cheese. These are not fancy goats. Stubborn, perhaps a bit fickle, but not fancy. But the most amazing thing is that I see these animals every day. I know the babies who get fat bellies from drinking this same milk. We feed these animals and they in turn feed us. It is a rewarding relationship that benefits both owner and goat. I know that it's not feasible for everyone to personally know their food, but if you ever have the opportunity to do so, you should. You will find it most rewarding.

BoPeep. Great-Grandmother.
It's easy to forget where our food comes from these days, especially when perfectly edible cheese comes in plastic tubs at Publix. But unless you are strictly vegan, your food has a face. And I am proud to know these faces.




2 comments:

  1. I love goat cheese, too. Please assure me that Earless has a body. What is with that eerie picture of a bodiless goat. Enjoy your cheese!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep. She is a lamancha doe. they dont have ears. lol.

    ReplyDelete

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Yours Truly,
The Crowsons