Shush… don’t tell anyone… while there she visited the Whole Foods on Houston and checked out their cheese counter (think: spied upon them…) and was delighted to find a new goat cheese to bring home for The Man and moi, your dedicated-to-the-cheese-cause Feline Foodie to taste.
This particular WF had a large local section and the one that caught the eye of The Lady was Riley’s Coat from Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury, Vermont.
The Lady and I became aware of Greg and Hannah, the owners of Blue Ledge, in 2009, when they were part of a Martha Stewart Show focusing on American Artisan Cheeses. The two met in Italy and in 2000 bought a rundown cow dairy in Vermont and began the work of converting it into a working goat farm. In 2002 they produced their first cheese and a short six years later Wine Spectator Magazine named one of their cheeses to their top 100 Best Cheeses of 2008.
In 2004 they sold the “development rights” to their land to the Vermont Land Trust, protecting the land from future commercial exploitation. They practice sustainable agriculture and allow their goats to “free-roam” the land most of the year. Like Wisconsin’s Crave Brothers, they use a bio-mass furnace to produce electricity to light and heat their farm… which proves, as said here before, you actually can turn S**t into Shinola…
Riley’s Coat is made from raw goat milk and aged for about three months. Much to our delight, while it is tangy, there is none of that off-putting goaty taste that turns off The Lady and me. Riley’s Coat is sweet, nutty and creamy. It is hard enough to grate and use in mac n cheese or on a pizza for a different twist.
And because goat milk cheese is naturally lower in fat than that of sheep and cow, it’s “Gall Bladder Friendly”…. a definite plus around The Manse these days…
We give Blue Ledge Farm’s Riley’s Coat 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: Serve this baby on a cheese board in about the 6pm position and you’ll have folks swooning. As mentioned above, it would also go well in pasta dishes and on top of your favorite pizza.
Wine Pairing: I would suggest a lighter blended red… however… what do I know… The LAdy refuses to let wine touch these feline lips… but I’m not bitter…
Beer Pairing: A dark, malty beer should really hit the spot.
Source: Raw Goat Milk
Awards: 2006 American Cheese Society – First in its Class