Jada, Queen of Fort Cheese, recently took a trip to Connecticut to source some fresh goat cheese. We love the stories and pictures she brought back – we call this one “Meet Your Maker” because it reminds us of pictures we have taken with winemakers and the series of tastings we’ve had in-store with them! Here’s Jada’s report:
Ok, all of my regular customers will find this redundant because all I can talk about this week is my new cheese, but for everyone else, you HAVE to come try Paul Trubey’s cheeses from Beltane Farm. I took a jaunt out to rural Connecticut Sunday to investigate rumors I heard about his gorgeous dairy, and hard-to-find cheese, and it was an amazing experience. The farm itself is tiny – just 2 guys taking care of the goats, and one other person to help on cheesemaking – and it was totally inspiring. Paul is so ardent about animal husbandry, and his goats are vivacious creatures with totally distinct personalities.
And, of course, the cheese!!! Paul’s soft cheeses are only available in spring, summer and some of early fall; goats, unlike cows, don’t give milk year-round. So these soft goat cheeses, ripened for a week to a month at most, are truly harbingers of our local seasonal changes. I picked up Beltane’s Grace, a bloomy-rinded soft goat milk cheese, ripened until the layer right below the rind is runny, while the center paste retains its creamy, silky solidity. The taste is earthy and rich, with lovely dusky flavors from the grass and herbs of the local terrain where the goats graze, and is ripened to farm-yardy perfection. I also got my hands on the one I’d been waiting for – Danse de la Lune. It just became ready a week or so ago – a younger, firmer chevre in the french style that is also bloomy-rinded, with a buttery richness and a bright clean taste perfect for springtime. Lastly, I got a truly delicious tangy and faintly sweet goat ricotta I can barely keep on the shelves! It could be great spread on bread or in a salad of spring greens, but honestly I just eat it by the piece, it’s so tasty.
I am really proud to be one of only 2 shops in all NYC carrying this cheese, the other being in Manhattan. Paul’s a great guy who makes great cheese. Please come try it!