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Celebrate National Goat Cheese Month with Local Favorites

Img_3964 What's that?  You say you didn't know that August is National Goat Cheese Month?

Well you're not alone. The American Cheese Society doesn't seem to have put a lot of effort into promoting the designation, so the only references that come up when you look for "National Goat Cheese Month" are newspapers and other secondary sources.

Were it not for a recent event put together by Domasoteca and Cowgirl Creamery and an opinion poll over at Endless Simmer, I might have missed this holiday opportunity to raise awareness altogether.  But I didn't, and now you won't either.

D.C. Foodies can certainly choose to celebrate National Goat Cheese Month with national favorites like Humboldt Fog and Truffle Tremor from California-based Cypress Grove or Capriole's Old Kentucky Tomme from Indiana, but there are a number of truly impressive local goat cheeses that I would encourage you to check out:

Img_3957 Firefly Farms - This western Maryland-based farmstead produces a range of more than half a dozen goat cheeses, with textures and flavors that range from light and creamy to firm and earthy, with a blue cheese thrown in for good measure.  Their cheeses are all made from milk purchased from an Amish co-op, and their website offers a great selection of recipes that make use of their various cheeses.  You can find the folks from Firefly near the entrance to the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market every Sunday morning, or you can purchase their cheeses throughout the week at Cowgirl Creamery.

Img_3194Cherry Glen Farms - Though I was first introduced to Cherry Glen through their Monocacy Ash, I have since tasted their fresh chevre as well as their smoky, spicy Monocacy Chipotle.  Each cheese in their product line has its own distinct flavor, but I still can't get over just how fresh and soft (and runny!) the Ash was the first time I had it.  Still available at Cheesetique and Whole Foods, Cherry Glen's products can now be purchased at Bower's Fancy Dairy Products in Eastern Market, as well.  Availability still varies from time to time, but the crottins and other cheeses seem to be appearing with far more regularity recently.

Chevre500Apple Tree Goat Dairy - I haven't had the chance to try their products firsthand, but fellow DC Foodies writer Ramona (the Houndstooth Gourmet) is a big fan of "Tom the Cheese Guy" who makes a wide range of goat's milk cheese and soap (not to mention the milk itself) on his farm in Ridgefield, PA and sells them on Saturdays at the Del Ray farmers' market and again on Sundays at the West End Alexandria market.  Ramona's recommendation has made this small dairy's chevre one of the next cheeses on my "must try" list - this month seems like the perfect time to do so.

Pipe Dreams Fromage - For more than 15 years, Brad Parker has been making goat cheese using traditional methods he learned in France on his 16-acre farm in Greencastle, Pennsylvania.  It's still all about the cheese for him, as well - he doesn't have a website, nor does he really go out of his way to advertise.  Even so, many local chefs swear by his product and their demand is such that it's become pretty darn hard to find Pipe Dreams chevre in retail shops.  Cheesetique tends to sell out as soon as they get it in, as does Cowgirl Creamery.  I've only tried this cheese twice, most recently in an heirloom tomato salad at Blue Duck Tavern.  Each time, I was blown away by the smooth creaminess of the cheese and the flavor that was tangy but not as reminscent of 'barnyard' as many goat cheeses tend to be.  If you can find it (and believe me, it's worth a trip to a local restaurant like Blue Duck or Zaytinya in and of itself), THIS is the way to celebrate National Goat Cheese Month.



Odd that goat cheese month is August - I've been told that chevre is best in the spring when the goats are eating fresh young grass. But, I just picked up some of Firefly's Black&Blue for this weekend so I'll be sure to tell everyone it's in honor of the official month.

PS I'm another fan of Tom's chevre, but be sure to try his cave-aged cheeses too!

Nicole Shelley

We would sure love for you to check out our fine goat cheeses and yogurts. Our cranberry chevre is out of this world!

Nicole Shelley

Our website is

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