Rich, Creamy Goat Cheese Recipes
Growing the herd
From a single Alpine goat named Tea Rose, now immortalized on Capriole's colorful logo, Judy has grown her herd with the queens of the mild producers: Alpines, flop-eared Nubians and alabaster Saanens. Throughout the year, pens full of bawling baby goats keep the herd replenished and the does lactating.
Twice-daily milking produces more than 200 gallons of milk. Most of the farm's production sells as fresh cheese. Some cheese is rolled in herbs or mixed with pine nuts or sun-dried tomatoes.
Many customers find the handful of aged cheeses (which spend at least two months in cool, stainless-steel "caves") most interesting in terms of flavor and texture. Wrapped in bourbon-soaked chestnut leaves, the O'Banon, an aged cheese named in honor of Indiana's beloved, late governor, Frank O'Bannon, wins the most rave reviews.
Judy's favorite of the dozen or so Capriole cheeses is called Sofia, which is ripened about five days, leaving it mild but flavorful. She uses it as a salad cheese and an accompaniment to a crisp wine.
"Cheese is 95-percent milk. It's the quality and the flavor of the milk that makes our cheese what it is," Judy says. "And then there's something else." She waves an arm over the rolling pastures. "It's the terroir, a French word for the mystique of the land. It means a special sense of place, and that's what I feel here every day."
Capriole cheeses are available from the farm's website or at selected cheese shops and specialty food shops such as Whole Foods.
(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® March/April 2007.)