Issue No. 10

January 6th, 2011

On the Farm: Farmstead Cheese at Rinconada Dairy

by Christopher Thompson

This summer, Cheese Enthusiast had the pleasure of visiting Rinconada Dairy, a farmstead cheese operation in the Central Coast region of California. The Central Coast is the geologically complex region north of Santa Barbara, where coastal mountains separate the inland from the sea, creating a generally dry region. But certain valleys extending in from the coast nevertheless allow cool, moist, coastal air to sneak inland for miles, creating an amazing array of microclimates. It is great wine country, but as pasture for dairy purposes, not so good due to the lack of regular rainfall for grasses, which for much of the year are golden and dry.

Nigerian Dwarf Goat Show

by Mary Segal and Bev Chambers

The Heartland Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association was organized in December 2002 by a group of Oklahoma Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat breeders who wanted to improve the promotion and marketing of Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. Now in its 8th year, the association follows this five-point mission statement:

  1. To create good will, harmony, cooperation, and fellowship among exhibitors, breeders, and fanciers.
  2. To actively seek opportunities to provide and circulate sound information to the general public regarding Nigerian Dwarf Goats.
  3. To cooperate, whenever possible, with other dairy goat clubs and related organizations to facilitate the inclusion of Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats into shows and other dairy goat forums.
  4. To promote the breeding and exhibition of Nigerian Dwarf Goats.
  5. To promote the inclusion of Nigerian Dwarf Goats in 4-H and other youth agriculture groups.


Do Try This At Home

by Susan Marquis

Got (Other) Milk?
Making Cheese with Sheep’s and Goat’s Milk

Here at Cheese Enthusiast, nearly all of our cheesemaking experience has been with cow’s milk. Yes, we’ve visited dairies and cheesemakers and learned about the remarkable cheeses they make with sheep’s or goat’s milk at places like Willow Hill and Rinconada Dairy. And, when first learning to make cheese we experimented with store-bought goat’s milk and made fresh chèvre and lightly aged goat’s cheese of varying types. And in the classes we’ve taken we’ve met many home and small-dairy cheesemakers with goats, including a remarkable woman in Texas who used to have happy hour with her goats, sharing her glass of wine with them and insisting that the cheese tasted all the better for it.

Cheesemaker Check-In

Who: Monserrat Almena-Aliste, Ph.D. (aka “Montse”)
Where: Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese, University of Vermont
Home: Galicia, in northwest Spain, and Vermont

A Ph.D. in cheese? Not exactly. My Ph.D. is in Food Science from the University of Santiago de Compostola in Galicia, Spain, with additional study at INRA Poligny in France. Wow! How did you get there? From the time I was three years old, it was my goal and dream to be a vet. I loved animals—big cows, stinky manure, and how its smell changed from region to region. I loved every detail of animals and the farm.

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival

On July 25 of this year, close to 100 cheesemakers and other artisan food producers took part in the second annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival in Shelburne, VT. Hosted by the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company and the Vermont Cheese Council, the Festival was held at Shelburne Farms. The event attracted over 1,500 visitors from across the country.

Learning a Bit More About Dairy Goats and Sheep

Notes compiled by Susan Marquis
(Cheese Enthusiast web exclusive)

Click Here to read more.

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