PRODUCT: Fresh Goat Cheese (Chèvre)
Get it while you can: pumpkin goat cheese
The wife of a farmer in Hiram,* Ohio, Jean Mackenzie took her first cheese-making class in June 2007 and was licensed to produce cheese that October.
Two weeks later, she entered her chèvres (goat cheeses) in the National Cheese Competition sponsored by the American Dairy Goat Association. She won two Best of Show awards, two First Place awards and one Second Place award. Awards continued to roll in, most recently at the 2011 American Cheese Society competition (for her Apricot Ginger Chèvre).
In addition to plain chèvre logs, Mackenzie Creamery makes flavored logs that tempt us to hold a goat-out (really a pig-out, where we dig into every flavor). The flavors include Black Truffle, Blue, Blueberry Lemon, Cranberry Orange, Garlic Chive, Herbes de Provence, Honey, Sweet Piquant and seasonal Toasted Pumpkin.
There are also small tubs of flavored chèvres: Apricot Ginger, Cognac Fig (with Courvoisier Cognac), Sweet Fire and Tomato. The chutney or syrup flavorings are on the bottom of the cup, so that when the cheese is inverted onto a plate, they turn into a topping. Just add crackers, graham crackers and/or baguette slices and serve.
Toasted Pumpkin and Cranberry Orange chevre logs are wonderful additions to holiday tables. The Toasted Pumpkin tastes like pumpkin cheesecake.
GOAT CHEESE TIPS
Find out why goat cheese is a good choice for lactose-intolerant people.
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*While Hiram, Ohio may become famous as the location of Mackenzie Creamery, it was also the residence of a U.S. president. James A. Garfield lived there as a college student, instructor and then principal at what is today Hiram College. He also married a Hiram girl, Lucretia Rudolph. Several of their children were born there, including Harry Augustus Garfield, who became president of Williams College, and James Rudolph Garfield, who became the 23rd Secretary of the Interior under President Theodore Roosevelt.