goats milk cheese

Welcome, The Goat Days Of Summer

jumping baby goat Forget the Dog Days of [Minnesota] Summer. We've got GOAT. As the sun scorches down in the Midwest and outdoor activities reach their screaming peak (hello, Minnesota State Fair!), is there really a better animal to ring in the final month of summer than a frolicking baby goat? Here at the France 44 - St. Paul Cheese Shops, we're totally torqued to take advantage of the weather and produce and sandy beaches of August, all with a little tangy goat cheese by our side.

One of our favorites is a triple-creme round called Kunik. It's made at Nettle Meadow Goat Farm & Sanctuary in Warrensburg, New York. Over 300 goats of all ages call the farm home, from energetic little kids to geriatric "retired" goats that just want to laze and graze. The farm also houses llamas, chickens, ducks, and provides a safe space for rescued farm animals. (If you've always wanted to adopt a pet goat, this is the place for you.)

Kunik cheese

Nettle Meadow's Kunik is actually a delicate mixture of goat and cow's milk. It's a great cheese for converting goat cheese haters because, while goat's milk brings a tangy, herbal character to this cheese, the cow's milk tempers it into something luscious and buttery. It also happens to be an organic cheese made with vegetable rennet instead of the traditional animal rennet.

We've collected a few of our favorite staff pairings for this cheese, so we can enjoy it all month long. See if you can try them all before the golden light of September sets in.

Enjoy Nettle Meadow Kunik with...

• Red Table Royal Ham; salty, herbaceous pork plays well with tangy, lactic goat cheese [Carol Ann]

• A spoon! Or eat it wtih some tart American Spoon Sour Cherry Preserves [Sam]

• Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc; crisp and creamy [Natalie]

• Skinny Jake's urban honey; this combination makes both the honey and the cheese even better [Peter]

• Grace & I Ghost Pepper Peach + Preserves! [Mallory, while doing a back flip of joy]

• Ames Farm Single Source Buckwheat Honey; yeasty and surprising [Emily]

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Baby Goats Are Budding!

On goat dairy farms, March is a pretty common time for kidding to go down. Kidding refers to the birth of baby goats. It's an exciting, energetic, and slightly stressful time of year for goat farmers. After all, for about 5 months (the most common gestation time for most breeds) farmers and does (female goats) alike have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of squirming little kids.

Even better than a collection of adorable baby animals to cuddle? Goats' milk! Once a doe has given birth (often to triplets, by the way) she will begin to produce milk. If she's milked continuously, she'll provide her farmer with 10 months-worth of delicious white stuff.

We love the tangy expression of goats' milk cheese at our cheese counters, so spring is an exciting time of year. It means we can begin looking forward to another round of some of our favorite cheeses from Vermont Creamery and other producers.

For lots of swoon-worthy photos of kidding season, check out Fat Toad Farm's website. They make the most luxurious goats' milk caramel, too, which we happily carry on our shelves. For an extra seasonal treat, mix their caramel into this St. Patrick's Day cocktail recipe:

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GOAT'S MILK CARAMEL IRISH CREAM Yields 1/2 gallon to share | Adapted from Fat Toad Farm

1 cup heavy cream 1 cup whole milk 2 cups Irish Whiskey 8 oz Fat Toad Farm Goat's Milk Caramel 14 oz sweetened condensed milk 1/4 cup chocolate syrup 2 teaspoons instant coffee 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon almond extract

Put everything into a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Pour over ice and enjoy!

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