Fresh goat cheese.
Wrapped in maple leaves.
Smoked over alder and hickory.
Need I convince you more?
River’s Edge, from the Central Coast Region of Oregon tells how they make these delicious little cheeses:
“To make our Up In Smoke, we start by wandering through the woods that border the pastures, gathering big-leaf maple and vine maple leaves, often with the company of the goats, who are always curious about what we’re doing out in the fields with them. We wash the leaves and smoke them for several hours to dry them out, then we hand-shape our fresh artisanal chèvre into balls and smoke them over the same alder and hickory chips. After they’ve picked up that marvelous autumn aroma, they’re ready to be wrapped in the smoked maple leaves, which we’ve spritzed with a bit of bourbon for flexibility and that additional hint of smoky flavor.”
You’ll most-often find Up in Smoke wrapped in large, bourbon-sprayed maple leaves but as winter comes and the leaves become scarce, you may occasionally find them in the leaves of the Salal, a Pacific Northwest evergreen.
It’s a fabulously rich. clean and tasty cheese. The smoke does not dominate, but elevates the clear, bright lactic tang of the goat milk. Pat Morford, her family and small hear of goats make many varieties and I have had the fortunre to try just a very few. If Up in Smoke is any indication, they’re near the top of American Artisans.
Cheese: Up in Smoke
WHO: River’s Edge Chèvre
Where: Central Coast Range, Oregon
Milk Type: Goat (pasteurized)
Texture: soft, smooth, silty clay
Format: 4-5oz ball
Tasting notes: milky & citrussy with a light, smooth smokiness