I realize that in my last post I talked about a goat cheese, but I received another goat cheese today that I was able to try and it got me so excited I just had to write about it. The cheese I am talking about is the Bucheret from Redwood Hill Farm - a creamery located in Sebastopol, CA just a couple hours north of where I am.
Here is the Bucheret in all of its 5 oz glory - a bloomy rind cheese made of 100% pasteurized goat's milk. The cheesemakers at Redwood Hill Farm wrapped this cheese in a very nice cheese paper that they mean for you to reuse when you want to rewrap the cheese after taking a nibble. An interesting thing that I found out about this farm is that it is totally sustainable and the only reason why it isn't considered an organic farm is because they don't have access to organic feed year round. Besides that, all of their practices are organic and sustainable. They were also the first goat dairy in the US to be certified humane.
When you see this label, it means the product "Meets the Humane Farm Animal Care Program standards, which include nutritious diet without antibiotics, or hormones, animals raised with shelter, resting areas, sufficient space and the ability to engage in natural behaviors". (For more information on the the Certified Humane program please visit www.certifiedhumane.org.) Not only is Redwood Hill Farm Certified Humane, but they are working to have all of their sister farms become certified as well. I think that they have done a fantastic job and though I loved their products before, I now have even more respect for them.
Now the cheese...
Behold... Bucheret! Quite a cute little pillow of cheese that is not much bigger than a shot glass. This particular piece pictured is a little on the young side so when I squeezed it there was not too much give. But I wouldn't describe this cheese as firm. As it ages and ripens it just gets softer and softer and the flavors more pronounced.
If you look closely you can see the outer edges close to the rind look smoother than the chalky inside. This is why I describe this piece of cheese as young. As it ripens, the chalky inside will yield to the smoother, gooeyness that you see closer to the rind. When I tried a piece of this cheese I was amazed at how balanced the flavors were. I was able to taste the tang of the goat, but it was muted with a beautiful creaminess and a slight bitterness from the rind. This is not so common in goat cheeses as a lot of times the goat milk tang takes over any subtleties in the cheese. With the Bucheret I was able to get nuances of mushroom and a little bit of grass. As it ages, these nuances become even more pronounced producing a gooey, flavorful, yet balanced cheese.
Now take a quick peek back at the first picture with the label. Look at the right side and you can faintly see that it says "Delicious drizzled with honey". So... I decided to try it. I opened up one of our Orange Blossom Honeys that we sell at the cheese counter and drizzled it on the second piece I was trying (ok, maybe it was the third or fourth piece...). When I put the combination in my mouth I was blown away! The sweetness and high viscosity of the honey really mellowed out the slight bitterness of the rind and and made the chalkier interior of the cheese so much more lush and decadent. The honey just added another level that really helped this cheese find its voice and sing. I had two of my co-workers try it tonight and all they could say was "wow". I can't recommend this cheese or this combination more. You won't be disappointed.
If you want to learn more about Redwood Hill Farm visit their website at www.redwoodhill.com. They not only offer amazing cheeses, but they have goat milk, kefir and yogurt as well!
I hope you enjoyed this post! In my next post I'm going to be partnering with my friend Raschel and we will be sharing some yummy recipes that you could use in your upcoming holiday parties...
Until then, eat, drink and be happy!