New in Oregon: Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese

Carine Goldin | Goldin Artisan CheeseCarine Goldin's cheese memories trace back to her hometown of Mouxy in the Savoie region of northern France. Her grandmother, a true cheese connoisseur, is the genius responsible for introducing the young Carine to the wonders of great cheese - taking her along to farms and cheese shops all over the region, buying and sampling all of the beautiful cheese treasures available along the way. Now Carine Goldin is bringing a bit of her native France to the Pacific Northwest by way of her own hand made artisan cheeses. Goldin attended the University of Oregon and worked for Adidas in Portland for a few years before transitioning out of the corporate world, purchasing five acres near Molalla and starting a farm.  She's currently caring for about 20 Alpine goats (12 milking) and was licensed to make cheese in June of this year. Like many artisan cheesemakers, she started out making cheese informally at home. She says that in the early days so little information was available about making cheese that she ended up spending many hours searching French websites for information and advice. No doubt the ability to speak French is a great help when learning to make cheese! Goldin also took the WSU cheesemaking course to perfect her skills before turning pro.

I had a chance to try some of Goldin's first cheeses a few weeks ago. They're absolutely lovely and I can't wait to try more! I'm particularly fond of a couple of her washed rind cheeses, the Certoux and the Cascadian Frechette, each packed with tangy, salty cheese goodness. Equally as good is her Tomme de Sawtell, a cheese she says comes very close to the Tomme de Savoie she remembers growing up. Her passion for the craft is evident in her cheeses, which she has painstakingly nurtured - French in style but with Northwest terroir.

Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese will soon be available at New Seasons and Foster and Dobbs in Portland, or contact Carine Goldin through her website for more information about purchasing cheese.

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Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese Molalla, Oregon 503-810-1954

Mystery Bay Farm

Mystery Bay FarmI’m always interested in learning how cheesemakers got into the industry; sometimes cheesemaking is a career change, other times it’s an extension of an existing dairy business. For Rachael VanLaanen and Scott Brinton, cheese is one piece of a larger puzzle: it’s helping their small family farm thrive and sustain itself. Rachael and Scott started out growing market vegetables on their five acres. “We realized that we couldn’t afford the amount of land it would take to make that work financially, in the long term,” says Rachael. They already had a few goats, and she knew from befriending Dee Harley of Harley Farms while living in Northern California that making cheese had the potential to be a lucrative way to add value to a resource (goats) they already had. Milking goats also made sense environmentally. “I’m very focused on what I’m doing ecologically to the land, and goat’s browsing is really beneficial to the land in this area of Western Washington. We’re on a piece of land that’s really made for goats.” Goats are much more partial to the dense thickets and shrubs that characterize the area’s marine landscape.

Rachael had already accumulated an impressive cheesemaking education before going pro herself.  She spent a year and a half as an assistant cheesemaker at Mt. Townsend Creamery in Port Townsend (not far from her current farm). “I really enjoy cheesemaking,” she says. “I definitely feel like this is something I want to do long term.” After several years of careful planning and with the help of local investors, she started making cheese officially in May of this year (Scott does farm and pasture management and Rachael takes care of the goats and makes the cheese). The cheese comes from the milk of the farm’s current herd of seven Alpine goats, a small group that Rachael hopes will eventually grow to a maximum of about twenty.

Having worked for many years as a school garden and food based educator, Rachael is committed to developing Mystery Bay Farm as a center for education as well as cheesemaking. “People really want to engage with farms,” she says. “Not everyone has a context for where their food comes from. When you say this food or cheese is a ‘sustainable product’ they might not understand what that means. They can visit our farm and see what that really looks like.”

Right now, Rachael is currently making fresh chevre (both plain and flavored), ricotta and a surface ripened crottin. An aged tomme is in the development stages. Mystery Bay Farm products can be found at the Pt. Townsend Farmer’s Market on Saturdays during the season.

For more information and photos of the creamery’s startup see Wil Edwards’ Culture Magazine Blog - Birth of a Dairy.

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Mystery Bay Farm 72 Beveridge Lane Nordland, WA 98358 (360) 385-3309