Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lonely Goat, Wanganui, NZ

Back in December I visited Rae and Brian Doughty at Lonely Goat, near Wanganui.
Rae and Brian make small batches of goats milk cheese from their 40 milking does, predominantly Saanen, with a few British Alpine and Anglo Nubians thrown in the mix.  Before setting up their little factory, they had milked goats to supply a large New Zealand goat milk company, and became interested in cheese making.  Originally self taught from books, after attending the New Zealand Cheese School they won two silver medals in 2010 at the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards.  The attention to detail shows is shown by the cleanliness and tidiness of their cheese making room.  Rae makes a variety of cheeses including feta, halloumi, small amounts of camembert, and a fresh cream cheese style, while Brian looks after the rest of the farm.  This is a retirement project, so batches are small and hand made, and generally only available in the local region.  Rae and Brian have a stall at the Wanganui Farmers Market, and the cheese is available at a few delicatessens in the surrounding region.  I will feature a couple of Lonely Goat Fetas in an upcoming post. 
Rae and Brian in their cheese room overlooking the garden and farm.  Courtesy of Lonely Goat.
 Rae also likes to experiment with recipes, flavours and coatings. While I was visiting, Rae showed me some cheeses that she had been encouraged to make by Calum Hodgson, a cheesemonger from Auckland.  Calum had urged Rae to try a washed rind version of her gouda style cheese, and Rae had washed a few with a solution of B.linens but then decided not to continue washing them and had vacuum sealed them.  It turns out Rae doesn’t like washed rind cheeses all that much.  But she gave me one to take home and see what I could do with it.  This sounded like a good challenge, and a good excuse to get myself set up with a spare fridge for ripening cheeses which I was always saying I “would do sometime”.  In my next post, I will talk in more detail about my little experiment with ripening the cheese that Rae gave me.

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