Three weeks ago I gave you the link to Pholia Farm’s Goat Cam where you can see all the little kids gamboling. This week we take a look at two of their cheeses, starting with Covered Bridge.
Gianaclis and Vern Caldwell’s Pholia Farm, a goat dairy and small farmstead cheesemaking operation is located about ten miles from Rogue River, Oregon. They run the farm completely off the grid, and powered by solar and hydro-electric energy. Though I’ve only traded messages online with Gianaclis, her talents as cheesemaker, speaker and author have been crossing my cheese education path for sometime. Last year while at Cowgirl Creamery in San Francisco I met a young cheesemonger on her last day at the counter that was headed up to work at Pholia. For the last few months I’ve been reading Gianaclis’ exhaustive Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking (highly recommended even for laymen like me if you want to know the details of crafting cheese in an easy and entertaining to read way), then the goat cam goes up and finally, I was fortunate to find two of their cheeses in the Twin Cities at Sunfish Cellars. Pholia’s cheeses seem to seldom make it out here.
The make of Covered Bridge includes the somewhat unusual steps of washing, not the rind, but the curds of the cheese before forming. Gianaclis washes the curds in the local micro-brew Wild River Nut Brown Ale . Nut/English brown happens to be my favorite style of beer and the cheese takes on the best qualities of the brew: lightly sweet, fruity and malty, both on the nose and the flavor. It’s lingers with a tangy bite that’s minimally goaty. It used to be sold younger, available only in Summer and Fall but Gianaclis tells me they’ve been aging them longer of late; I’m guessing this cheese has been aged at least six months. In dense, firm and on the drier side. Chewy and delicious!
Covered Bridge takes it’s name after the historic Wimer Covered Bridge over Evans Creek just north of Rogue, Oregon. In 2003 the bridge collapsed. In 2008 the community rebuilt it.
Cheese: Covered Bridge
WHO: Pholia Farm
Where: Jackson County, Oregon
Milk Type: goat (raw)
Shape: 7lb wheel
Tasting notes: sweet, fruity, malty and a little nutty