Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 809 : North Fork Dairy Farms - Catapano Dairy Farm and Goodale Farms

Catapano Dairy Farm

Located in Peconic, this small family run goat dairy is right smack dab in the middle of wine country and what better place to be? Surrounded by vineyards and farms and restaurants specializing in locavore cuisine, they truly are in their element.

Catapano produces a wide variety of young goat's milk chevres, an excellent young goat gouda, feta, ricotta, yogurt, and a line of goat milk soaps.

Walking on to their property, you were overcome with the sense of love and care that the dairy has about all of their cheeses and their operation which at three full time employees is small but they craft some outstanding goat's milk cheeses. Each of their chevres was imbued with the local terroir -- fresh, tangy, milky, citrusy, and grassy. Ernest and young, these chevres would be perfect with a glass of local Sauvignon Blanc from One Woman Vineyards.

Which was my favorite?

Definitely the Honey Lavender chevre along with the young goat gouda. The chevre was aromatic and flavorful, tangy yet slightly sweet, crisp yet milky and round. The young goat gouda was bright and grassy with a nice lactic tangy finish. The best fresh local chevre I have had in a long time -- a true example of the difference in flavor profile when you as the consumer cut down on the distance traveled between the farm and your plate.

Goodale Farms

Moving westward back slightly towards New York City, located in the town of Aquebogue is Goodale Farms, the only Long Island dairy to sell fresh goat and cow's milk. Apart from fresh milk, Goodale produces a variety of young fresh cheeses as well that are for sale in their farm stand with vegetables, local preserves and more!

I always find it amazing walking into a farm stand where there is no one present besides a sign that says please leave cash in the envelope here for the products you purchase. Maybe it's from living in Manhattan that I am always pleasantly surprised when people instill such a sense of trust in others. It is refreshing! Needless to say there was no present at Goodale Farms.

What did we try?

Well maybe it was because the name was so pop-y but we decided we had to try their "BoCappy," a fresh young goat and cow's milk cheese with a thick ricotta like consistency. Lemony yet milky, approachable yet with a nice refined depth, this is the perfect marriage between a classic young goat's milk cheese and a young cow's milk cheese.

Overall each of the dairy farms was outstanding -- excellent examples of American artisanal cheesemaking deeply rooted in the local community and each stimulating the local agricultural economy as well. Both are worth a visit when you are out on the North Fork.

Catapano Dairy Farm
33705 North Road, Peconic, NY

Goodale Farms 
268 Main Road, Riverhead, NY

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