Cheese Tasting at Fodder

The entrance to Fodder

The entrance to Fodder

Yesterday I spent a happy time at Fodder doing a cheese tasting with five goat cheeses that we make with Jonathan and Jenny’s goat milk, from Hackfall Goats.  Jenny was also there, introducing Fodder’s customers to their goat milk.

I arrived at about 10am and immediately set about cutting up the cheese for tasting behind the extremely well presented cheese counter.  Louise helped and was very

Part of the cheese counter

Part of the cheese counter

 patient with me getting in the way, as very quickly, the shop began to fill up.  Laura was on hand to show me where I was placed and Jane, the manager, made sure that everything was going well.

I had the following on display:

Matured Goat: a matured goat cheese, which has a thin natural rind on it and a fairly firm

The five goat cheese tasters

The five goat cheese tasters

 texture.  It is rich and creamy and not at all pungent, but with a good rounded taste.  When we take the cheese out of the press, we wrap it in traditional bandage cloth and let it mature for about four months until it develops in flavour and texture. 

When one customer asked me if it was called ‘Matured’ because the goats were old.  Without missing a beat, I said ‘yes, we check the birth certificates of the goats,’ before smiling and explaining that it was really because it was aged by storing it in a temperature controlled place, being turned every day and rubbed to allow the natural rind to develop.  Well, they thought it was funny!

Yorkshire Gouda: this is such a different way of making cheese, and something that we have been experimenting with over the last few months and we think we’ve got it right; this was great timing to unveil our finished product.  It is smooth and creamy, quite a young, fresh cheese and very white in appearance.  All of these cheeses are made with local milk from Hackfall Goats in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

Some happy customers tasting the cheese

Some happy customers tasting the cheese

Next up was the Goat Cheddar, aged to about two years, very tasty, with lots of flavour.  I had fun explaining to people who had never heard of a goat cheddar how cheddar is made and the process of cheddaring, which involves stacking blocks of curd on top of each other, higher and higher and turning them so that the curd melds together in a very particular way that forms cheddar.

Er...me at the start of the tasting

Er...me at the start of the tasting

Then we had our Blue Goat cheese which is again, traditionally bandaged and matured to about three months before piercing it with a stainless steel prong.  I explained to customers that we add penicillium roquefortii in the vat with the milk and it is only when you pierce the cheese, does the blueing process begin to happen.  It has a creamy base with gentle blueing in it.  Those who like blue cheese said how unusual it was to see a blue goat cheese and how much they like it.

Crumbly Goat was there, made in a Lancashire style, so quite acidic.  This one has a good age on it and has lots of flavour.

The Verdict!

According to Louise who was working her poor little socks off all day at the cheese counter, the Yorkshire Gouda and the Matured Goat were the joint top sellers.  I would agree with that, we received some really fantastic feedback on both of these cheeses which is very pleasing.  Then, I’m not sure which was third and fourth because they were both close, were the Blue Goat and the Goat Cheddar.  We had customers asking Louise to stock both of them.  Whilst the Crumbly Goat came fifth, a lot of people did comment very favourably on it.

And the Goat Milk…

Jenny with some milk testers

Jenny with some milk testers

Jenny did a sterling job with her goat milk tasters.  Her milk was flying off the shelves!  It was really nice to do the tasting together so that people could try the goat milk first and then the cheese that is made with the very same milk.

A big thank you to Jenny for suggesting that we should go together and a bigger thank you to Fodder for their hospitality.  It was a pleasure to meet you again, and a special message to Louise, who is off on a four month round the world adventure, I wish you a fabulous and exciting time and hope to see you and Laura and Jane again, perhaps when you get back!

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