As the weather warms and the landscape begins to brighten and bloom, I begin wishing for goat cheese. For me this is a very seasonal craving, for a few short weeks nothing else will do. I search for soft tender cheeses with a creamy texture that melts on my tongue. They have a distinct pungent flavor, redolent of grass and warm meadows, with a pronounced earthy middle and a lingering milky finish. A well made goat cheese in my world is balanced and beautiful, never intensely chalky or astringent. They are usually small, which is perfect for our little family and easily eaten in one sitting, which is good for the integrity of the cheese.
As usual my search began at Di Bruno's where we were happy to discover that they had just received a shipment from Andante Dairy. Hunter was excited about the new cheeses and so were we. They were exactly what I was looking for. Andante Dairy is a one woman show. Their cheese maker Soyoung Scanlon named the dairy Andante after the moderately slow tempo with a distinct flowing movement, which is often used to indicate strolling, to illustrate her desire for a slower way of life and the proper way to make cheese. It is a romantic name for a place that produces beautiful cheeses.
We were lucky enough to pick up three different cheeses. The Minuet is a triple cream goat cheese made with the addition of creme fraiche, giving it extra tang and an incredible texture. Acapella is a small soft ripened goat cheese rubbed with ash. The rondo is a mixed milk cheese blending Jersey cow's milk with goat's milk to create a small round topped with herbs and pink peppercorns. It's easy to taste the care that went into their creation.