Each month, Tomales Bay Foods is proud to feature a few of the cheeses and cheesemakers we work with that make the artisan cheese industry so special. Your support during these promotions allows for increased awareness of these cheeses and all of the incredible work that goes into making those wheels (starting with the feed and animal husbandry, safe handling of the milk, the actual cheese make, the affinage and all of the humans that help make it happen). Cheese lovers and cheesemongers, please help us celebrate those dedicated folks who are following their dreams and bringing exceptional cheese to plates around the world.
December Featured Cheeses
Mary Keehn got started on the goat cheese trail in the 1970s when she decided to raise Alpine goats as a source of healthful milk for her children. Not too long after, Mary started receiving awards for her herd and became recognized as an expert in the field. Blessed with an excess of milk from fifty goats, Mary started making cheese in 1983. Situated where the giant redwoods meet the Pacific Ocean in the rugged northernmost reaches of Humboldt County, California, Cypress Grove gets unique inspiration from the salt-etched voluminous fog that coolly rolls in nearly every day.
Lamb Chopper‘s label shows a tough-looking lamb (is there such a thing?) with shades and a leather jacket astride a motorcycle. It’s the only sheep’s milk cheese in the Cypress Grove stable, and like its casein sibling Midnight Moon, it’s made in Holland from a traditional Dutch Gouda recipe under the direction of cheesemaker Mary Keehn. It’s aged for three months prior to arriving in the United States wherein it develops lovely flavors of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of citrus. Like its namesake puppet (or was the moniker inspired by the Harley’s that doubtless roar through Humboldt County on the coastal highway?), Lamb Chopper, with its mild flavor and smooth texture, is a favorite with children and is easy to like by even the most timid cheese lover. It’s also a superb melting cheese, making it a flavorful option for grilled cheese sandwiches or served over creamy polenta.
The earth will move with the bold, pungent flavor of black truffles in the luscious soft-ripened goat cheese that is Truffle Tremor. One of the newest creations from Cypress Grove, Truffle Tremor is replete with floral, herbaceous and mushroom accents, combined in a velvety creamy textured cheese. It’s brilliant as a dessert cheese with a tawny port, and it is simply seismic atop a juicy grilled steak.