Catapano One of the things I look forward to the most during the in spring
and summer months is the abundance
of fresh chevre that is available. The
bright and creamy texture coupled with basil, heirloom tomatoes, and a grind of
fresh black pepper… it doesn’t get much better than that in my book.

Conversely, there is a part of me that is always a little sad as we move into late
fall and winter, the goats move into the barn, and that fantastic cheese is
taken away for another year. 

generally mate during the September and October months, and give birth to kids
through April. Although the first few
months of milk go to the kids, mothers can usually continue producing milk for
the next six months, resulting in a somewhat finite period of time
during which chevre and other goat’s milk cheese to be made. 

Fresh chevre is essentially the ultimate
expression for seasonality in the cheese world. One of the finest examples of this is right on Long
at Catapano Dairy Farm.

Located on the North Fork of Long Island, Catapano Dairy
Farm has been making headlines since 2005 ever since their cheese won 1st
place for chevre from the American
Cheese Society
, considered
the most prestigious cheese competition in the country.

I was first introduced to the cheese a few years ago when my
wife and I first started coming down to visit Lenn and Nena on Long Island. It
was a revelation then, and continues to be the benchmark that I strive for
every time I make fresh chevre at home.  T

cheese has an incredibly moist and creamy texture with a slight scent of grass
and flowers that you immediately
associate with freshness and quality. What I like about this chevre is that it isn’t overwhelmingly "goaty."  What I mean
by that is some goat’s milk cheeses
can be so acidic and tangy on the backend that it can overwhelm some people to where they will swear off any cheese
made with goat’s milk. The Catapano is
incredibly mild and smooth with just a hint of the brightness on the end, and
has converted several goat cheese haters into Catapano lovers. 

Put it on a cracker, put it in a salad, put
it on a spoon…it’s that good…

As I sit and write this on a cool day near the end of summer, I am reminded once again that the spring and
summer months are fleeting. Fresh chevre is only going to be made
available for a little longer. Take
advantage of it while you can. Catapano
is a good place to start.