Ari's Picks

Fresh Goat Cheese from the Creamery

view of multiple tubs of fresh goat cheese from Zingerman's Creamery, one with the lid off

While this fresh goat cheese spread from the Creamery doesn’t get a lot of attention out in the world at large, I was thinking the other day that it ought to! It’s terrifically tasty and great to keep on the shelf in your refrigerator for easy access at any time of the day. It’s also a wonderful example of what it means to have a local cheese—made here on Plaza Drive, right between the Bakehouse and Coffee Company (come by and visit), using milk from Michigan farms.

The Creamery’s Fresh Goat Cheese is a very regular item at our house, where we use it for snacks and also as an ingredient in a whole range of other dishes. From toast to omelets to pastas, and pretty much everything in between. While it’s not technically “cream cheese” because no cream is added back to it, from an eating standpoint that’s the easiest way to explain this cheese With the same lovely, creamy texture and fresh flavor as cow’s milk cream cheese, it just happens to be made from local goat milk instead of cow’s milk!

The fresh goat cream cheese is great spread on a fresh-from-the-toaster slice of Bakehouse Farm bread, spread with a bit of the Mahjoub family’s organic Tunisian harissa and then topped with a fried egg that’s been cooked off in extra virgin oil. Not only does it taste good, but the colors of the yolk, rolling over the red of the harissa on the white background of the cheese and brown crust of the toast is as glorious to look at as it is to eat!

It is also really good, and easy to use, in risotto. When your rice is nearly done, just spoon some of the goat cream cheese and stir it in. It will melt in and give your risotto a really nice, rich creaminess. Easy to add to pasta sauces as well! And of course, the fresh goat cream cheese is awesome bagels, or on the first Tuesday of every month when we make bialys at the Bakehouse. (If you don’t know them, they’re the traditional bread of the town of Bialystok in Poland, about a five-hour or so drive to the southeast of Knyszyn. A bit like a cross between a bagel and an onion roll, they’re terrific. Toasted and then spread first with a bit of butter and then with this fresh goat cream cheese, they’re a beautiful taste of East European culture.)

If you head over to the Coffee Company, you can find goat cream cheese on the terrific toast menu—the Bulgarian Toast is made with lutenitsa (a spread of cooked peppers and eggplant, what some refer to as “Bulgarian ratatouille”) and the Creamery’s Fresh Goat Cheese on Sicilian Semolina bread from the Bakehouse. Super tasty, it’s our biggest-selling toast!

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