Long before the goats arrived here, we loved goat cheese. We dreamed of some day making our own. And though we love fresh cheeses like chèvre as well as hard cheeses like clothbound cheddars and authentic manchegos (let’s be honest: we love almost any cheese), our true cheese love is reserved for the soft- and surface-ripened cheeses like the classic French Crottin, St. Maure, Selles-Sur-Cher, and Valençay, and the newer, outstanding American versions such as Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog, and Jasper Hill Farm’s Constant Bliss.
So, after experimenting for a few months with chèvre, goats’ milk ricotta, feta, and several other fresh cheeses, we’ve embarked on our mold-ripened cheese adventure. We’ve started with Valençay, and our first four cheeses are on their first day of draining in their pyramid-shaped molds now.
After draining for another 24 hours or so, we’ll remove the cheeses from their molds, apply salt and ash to them, and let them age for two-three weeks. When the cheeses are complete, I’ll publish a detailed post about the process and results. For now, though, we’ll all just have to wait patiently for the milk, bacteria, and mold do their magic.