Last weekend I did something REALLY exciting: I went to visit a goat’s farm and fromagerie. I recognize that this may not be a top 5 on everyone’s bucket list, but that’s just sad-it really ought to be. Goat farms are fabulous, go and find one and visit it now, I command thee!
I’ve been kind of obsessing over Goat’s Pride “Blue Capri” cheese now for over a year, you can read my review of it here. But that review doesn’t really do it justice, and it certainly doesn’t explain the hankering I have for that cheese, like all the time. All I really want to do all day long, is eat Goat’s Pride Blue Capri. Alas, it’s darn hard to find, so I decided to go to the source- a small goat farm out in the City of Abbotsford, in the Lower Mainland of BC.
As we drove up the meandering driveway, I saw goat’s cavorting. Seriously! And these are tiny, wee goats, not the large goats I was expecting. They were knee high at best, and literally cavorting amongst fields of clover. It was ridiculously perfect. My heart filled with goat-loving joy, one could almost say, pride…Goat’s Pride.
Goat’s Pride is a family run business. The son is the cheese maker, and mom seems to run the store. She graciously showed us around the farm stand and explained the lay of the land. Basically, organic goat’s milk is almost impossible to source. All of their goat’s milk comes from their own small herd of (ridiculously cute) goats, but that’s not cutting it. They may have to look at alternative sources and alternative cheeses as they expand their line of products.
For the time being, Goat’s Pride continues to make a limited run of cheese including today’s Gouda Van Giet, and yes, I did also buy three blocks of the Blue Capri for my own private joy.
According to their wrapper, Van Giet means “from the goat” in Dutch. As Gouda- and the Goat’s Pride family- are all Dutch, it seems only fitting. This cheese truly is “from the Dutch.”
Gouda Van Giet is a certified organic cheese, and the milk and cheese are processed directly on the farm. This Gouda is aged about a year-if memory serves me correctly. Unfortunately, their website is currently down, so I can’t double check, but let’s go with that. I’m assuming they pasteurize their milk, as it doesn’t say “raw” anywhere, but it’s made on the farm from happy goats, so for me, that’s about as good as it gets.
Gouda Van Giet is white-very white-goat’s milk is whiter than cow’s because it lacks beta carotene. That’s that carrot colour that makes cow’s cheese kind of yellow. For some mysterious reason, goats convert beta carotene into Vitamin A, colourless. See, goats are magic!
I digress, my vitamin A rich Gouda is a stark white, it’s firm without discernible texture in the smooth paste. It has no rind. The smell is faint and slightly goaty. It beckons me. Yes, it’s not Blue Capri, but a very close cousin, “try me,” it says.
So complex! It’s like one of those gobstoppers that changes flavour as you go down a level. Initially, salty and goaty, but then, a caramel undertone emerges. It’s rich and salty. It’s also salty, did I mention that? The texture is not as smooth as I expected, the paste holds up to chewing, keeping its integrity. It’s pretty mellow for a goat’s cheese, nothing scary here. It’s chilled out and toothsome.
OK, I like this cheese, but I’m not completely obessed with it, as I am with their Blue Capri. But that’s ok, not everyone appreciates mouldy goat’s cheese, I get that. This is a beautiful, organic, family and farmstead made goat’s Gouda. Try it, it just might be your slice of cheese.