Leite’s Loves…Cypress Grove Midnight Moon Goat Gouda

ypress Grove Midnight Moon Goat Gouda

Recently, I brought some Cypress Grove Midnight Moon goat gouda to a dinner party filled will some pretty highbrow foodies.

I’m intimidated by foodies—serious ones, anyway. My partner Bruce and I live in rural New England. We don’t get out all that often. In these parts, the seasonal reopening of the Dairy Queen two towns over counts as a culinary happening. Yet I must know at least a little something about cheese, because those foodies fell on my goat gouda.

Many folks—including one of the heavyweight foodies at the party—are completely unaware there’s such a thing as goat gouda, given that the sweet, mild cheese is traditionally made entirely from cow’s milk. This particular incarnation is made by Cypress Grove, whose founder, Mary Keehn, is one of America’s preeminent cheese makers—she’s the genius behind Humboldt Fog. About a decade ago, Keehn took a trip to Holland and came across a gouda maker working according to traditional methods and strict local milk regulations. His exacting standards suited her, so she paired her recipe for goat’s cheese with his technique and set up shop abroad. (Keehn thought that such a proud Dutch tradition ought only be made in Holland, with goat milk from Holland, and with the ambient mold spores found in—you guessed it—Holland.)

Keehn produced a cheese that has a sweet, almost caramelized taste, with grassy, sassy, savory overtones. Goat milk adds umami, that indescribable fifth flavor, along with sour notes to the usual bovine equation. Forget chèvre. That stuff’s a sledgehammer compared to the delicate elegance of Midnight Moon. Typically paired with sweet condiments, such as fig jam, it also really stands up to a little heat, like a hot tomato chutney.

Having traveled the U.S. and Canada for more than a year to research our book on goat, I’ve visited a flotilla of cheese makers and can attest to the fact that much fresh goat cheese is pretty rough around the edges. But Midnight Moon resets anyone’s established expectations. And not just mine—the cheese won best in its class at the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest. So consider introducing Midnight Moon to the foodies in your life. Trust me, they can’t be snarky when their mouths are full. —Mark Scarbrough

Cypress Grove Midnight Moon Goat Gouda can be found at most specialty cheese stores and Whole Foods Markets. It’s also available by mail-order in 16-ounce wedges hewn from a 9-pound wheel.

About Bruce Weinstein | Mark Scarbrough

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are exhausted. Twenty cookbooks in 12 years. Several other books for persnickety celebs. (Shhh. Confidentiality agreements.) More than 10,000 original recipes tested, tweaked, and perfected. A million or so hours on cross-training equipment, not to mention many, many pairs of elastic-waistband pants. Their work can be found in the James Beard Award-nominated Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter and Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese. They’ve also written for many of the food bigwigs, including The New York Times, Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, the late Gourmet, and, in a fit of modern irony, weightwatchers.com. About three years ago, they left Manhattan for New England—or what Cole Porter called “this rural America thing”--to share several acres with some resident moose and bear, as well as an irascible collie named Dreydl.

Comments
Comments
  1. Tom from San Francisco says:

    I’m from California and Cypress Grove is a local favorite. We see it in the supermarket and occasionally at a Farmer’s Market in San Francisco and elsewhere. I love it when a local cheese company makes gouda.

  2. Amelia Turney says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cheese. Chef Ron Eyester of Rosebud & The Family Dog in Atlanta uses it to top Caesar salads and his delicious marinated mushrooms.

  3. Joan Wilder says:

    Loved Tom from S.F.’s “good” joke. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Goat gouda is the best! I’ve never been fortunate enough to try Cypress Grove’s variety, but frequently buy another brand. It’s one of my all-time favorites. Will keep an eye out for this one now too!

  5. Judy says:

    As a native of Humboldt County I love seeing legal, local artisan products being featured.  Had the pleasure of tasting Midnight Moon when we when to the parents for Christmas.  Such a lovely flavor…

  6. Terri says:

    Being in Humboldt County it is nice to see that this local favorite, that was recently bought out by a large company from Sweden is finally getting to be well known. They still produce the cheeses in Humboldt County but it is no longer a small local company, thankfully the company is getting larger and able to help our local economy. This is still our favorite goat cheese.

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