New England Cheeses from Goat's Milk
We know Vermont does cheddar better than just about anyone, but cheese making in New England goes beyond cows-only. Around here — where the changing seasons are compatible with raising healthy goats that produce milk almost year-round — we’re crafting beautiful dairy products thanks to our domesticated does as well.
Just because you’ve met one goat, don’t think you know them all. Goat’s-milk cheeses are varied and versatile, ranging from mild and creamy to firm and tangy. Goat’s milk can be turned into basic chevre (fresh, simple, soft-yet-structured), brined into feta, aged to different degrees of intensity, “cooked twice” to make ricotta, or infused with an array of flavors, from savory herbs to chocolate. Local artisans do it all.
Goat’s-milk cheeses are welcome additions to appetizer plates, providing a nice contrast to both hard and runny cow’s-milk cheeses. They’re delicious crumbled over salads or dolloped on soups, and they add a distinctive flavor to pizzas and flatbreads. Try pairing plain goat’s-milk cheeses with fruit preserves or homemade jam on toast or crackers — or let a local goat’s-milk cheese star in a savory-sweet hors d’oeuvre.
For more information on goat’s milk and other local cheeses, read “The New American Cheese” by Laura Werlin (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2000; $35), or visit these Web sites:
Look for these brand names at your local market.
Blue Ledge Farm, Salisbury, VT; 802-247-0095 blueledgefarm.com
Does’ Leap, East Fairfield, VT; 802-827-3046; vtcheese.com
Hillman Farm, Colrain, MA hillmanfarm.com
Seal Cove Farm, Lamoine, ME; 207-667-7127 maingoatcheese.com
Valley View Farm, Topsfield, MA valleyviewcheese.com
Vermont Butter & Cheese Company, Websterville, VT 802-479-9371 vtbutterandcheeseco.com
Westfield Farm, Hubbardston, MA 978-928-5110; chevre.com
The Cheese Iron, 200 Route 1, Scarborough, ME; 207-883-4057 thecheeseiron.com
Farmstead, 186 Wayland Ave., Providence, RI; 401-274-7177; farmsteadinc.com