Kaikoura Artisan Cheese Company have recently launched a Chevre Fermier called "Te Ma". When I previously wrote about Daniel & Sarah at Kaikoura, they were still developing their herd of Saanen dairy goats ready for milking. Well a few months ago they started making Te Ma, and I was lucky enough to get a sample.
It had a clean aroma, with a slightly cultured, acidic note much like you expect from cream cheese. The texture was soft and moist. There was a little crumble from the acid in the curd, but this was more than balanced out by the moistness which gave a creamy texture. When tasted, it is first acidic and sour and then some slight floral aromas develop as the cheese is swallowed. The flavour was very fresh - no "goatiness" as many people expect from goats milk cheese. This freshness is a sign the goats milk has been handled with care and has not been abused - which is not surprising as Daniel & Sarah's goats graze very close to their little cheese factory.
Personally, I would prefer to allow this cheese to dry out a little more before I eat it, to get a more fudgy texture (which is easy enough to do yourself anyway). Although many people in New Zealand are unfamiliar with fresh goats cheese, I think it could become popular due to its versatility. Some of the ways we like to eat it include: in many types of salad, on home made pizzas, with honey or fresh fruit, or on top of pasta or vege bakes in winter.
|Te Ma before I devour it.|
|Daniel and Sarah with their (happy) Saanen goats.|